RECHARGE, RE-EXAMINE, RENEW – GOD’S GRACE THROUGH COVID- 19
by Dr Mary Tay
For several weeks now, I have been prompted to share how God’s grace is sufficient to see me through the daily frustrations and challenges brought about by the “new” corona virus, or COVID-19, the virus that has brought death to millions around the world.
Even before the onset of the pandemic, the Lord had prepared me for uncertainty from 2018 to 2019 as I faced three big issues in my life which continually threatened to rob me of love, joy and peace: (1) mild Parkinsons, (2) finances for additional expenses arising from (1), and (3) the need to move to a smaller place to prepare for a less mobile old age. I started a journal of blessings and I marvelled at God’s amazing grace. At the end of 2019, He reminded me that despite increasing frailty, and difficulty in sitting, standing, and walking, I had been carried on eagle’s wings and by the prayers of God’s people.
I chose to see these “circuit breaker days” as a good chance to recharge my physical, emotional and spiritual batteries which were all pretty flat by December 2019. My foreign domestic worker arrived just about a week before the circuit breaker restrictions kicked in. Physically I got recharged very quickly as I could now get my 8 hours sleep, spent adequate time doing my daily exercises and increased the distance I walk daily. Emotionally, I now had the space to focus on God’s love instead of “my” gifts or “my” ministry. Spiritually, God surprised me by suggesting that I could even do an online spiritual retreat during the Lent period. It required only two blocks of 2 hrs to pray and listen to God every day for about 8 days but I emerged recharged spiritually because the theme was on Jesus as our Lifeline in solidarity with all those suffering from the pandemic.
As my batteries get recharged each day, (God is now able to show me how fractured my soul has become, putting the emphasis on “doing” things for Him instead of praying on a daily basis “YOUR kingdom come, YOUR will be done.” He is also showing me how proud and prejudiced my heart can become if I do not turn to Him in my brokenness to receive His love so that there will be something to share from the overflow of HIS love. God’s grace continues to surprise me. My helper speaks very little English. So I decided to brush up my Malay instead. God knew the desire of my heart to communicate His Love. He gave me three words in Indonesian in my dreams over the last three months: tanggung jawab which means “social responsibility” a day before CBD started; gotung-royung meaning ‘mutuality’ (helping one another); “setia” (faithfulness). God is showing me how a foreign worker is God’s gift and not a liability to us. Personal discipleship 24/7, not something I would have chosen!!
Finally, even as I wait eagerly for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on God’s church and God’s people, my daily prayer is summed up in the words of this song:
Renew my life, Lord Jesus, I never want to be the same,
Renew my life, Lord Jesus, place your heart inside of me.
In my life and thoughts there are so many things that need the change that only your LOVE can bring,
And I need to be transformed into Your likeness, O Lord,
Change this heart inside of me.