When it is God's time for something to happen it will happen. Empires rise, and in the present they seem invincible, eternal. Then they fall or fade away, and in hindsight it seems inevitable. It is a great comfort to know “that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals, and gives it to whom he will.” (Dan 4:17, 25) Christians do not live in a scary ‘random’ world. God’s will WILL be done on earth as in heaven. We don’t know what will happen along the way, but we do know we will be there to see it.
So far in 2020, if there is anything we can agree on, perhaps it is this—that anything can happen. If in 2019 someone had predicted that Australia would shut its state and national borders AT ALL let alone for months with no end in sight, who would have believed it? If a prophet had told me that I would not travel anywhere this year despite having booked interstate and international flights, I would have wondered what personal crisis could bring that about, but I would not have thought it would happen to everyone.
2020 is a remarkable year for sure: a never-ending onslaught of rules and restrictions, proclamations and predictions, claims and counter-claims—causing fear and frustration, confusion and cynicism, isolation and idleness. We are all tentatively pushing forward into the dark, suspecting that even when the virus has run its course, the world will be dramatically changed and our former lives will not return. But rather than add to the doom and gloom, let’s just remind ourselves of what we still have, and what we can still do.
Even in the shutdown, we can learn something new, find a worthwhile project, shop for those who can’t, seek out someone who is lonelier, dejunk and clean (!), garden, cook, work out ways to save money, and even attempt the impossible (like digitising all those old photos in boxes). A related proverb to “Never say never” goes something like this: “Those who say it can't be done should not obstruct those doing it.” So, don’t discourage anyone who is trying to be productive and positive. And pray. It really calms the fears.