Fiji Day in Cagayan de Oro - Photo: Latai Muller
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown! “He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” (Lk 8:22-25)
Facing this pandemic and experiencing lockdown in a place I am barely familiar with, I am hit with fear, restlessness, feeling worried and anxious, and I miss home. Experiencing this global crisis away from the comfort of my home and family, have caused me to panic, even angry.
Even if we feel helpless and restless, we will always remember that God is with us in our stormy life even though we cannot see him physically but spiritually we can. Things may feel difficult now but let us all take a moment and encourage everyone and say, “everything will be okay because God is with us”.
Having to deal with the newness of everything is limiting in itself. Having to deal with the restrictions to stay indoors, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, physical distancing is irritating and upsetting. I can’t help but ask, ‘what have I gotten myself into?’
However, I have to accept that there is nothing I can do with the reality I am facing. The question Jesus asked his disciples came to mind ‘where is your faith?’ Living in this storm, in this pandemic reality I sometimes lose faith and begin to question God with so many things. But these past few weeks I discover myself dwelling into the reality of living in lockdown. I cannot change the situation, but I can change my own outlook on the situation. This difficult situation has given me the opportunity to strengthen my spiritual life and has drawn me closer to God through prayers. This situation has given me a chance to look at myself inwardly. I am able to use my time to focus and concentrate fully in my studies, to focus on my physical well-being, to eat healthy food, exercise a lot, and develop mutual support with my companion.
Latai & Mereani - Photo: Latai Muller
I heard myself uttering the same cry as the disciples, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” The disciples thought they were all going to drown. But who was on board with them? The Lord uses the storm to reveal new areas where we need to learn to trust Him. We all must come to know our weaknesses so that we will rely on the Lord’s strength. This pandemic often shows us things that we don’t see in calmer times and that we must learn to be more patient. Even if we feel helpless and restless, we will always remember that God is with us in our stormy life even though we cannot see him physically but spiritually we can. Things may feel difficult now but let us all take a moment and encourage everyone and say, “everything will be okay because God is with us”.
Lord, may I never lose sight in your promise. Amen.
Latai Muller is a Fijian Columban Lay Missionary in the Philippines.