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17 May 2020 (Pastoral Page) WAITING.......

By Deaconess Law Le Li

Since COVID-19 took hold of the world, a veil of uncertainty has been hanging over the planet, and waiting has become a prominent activity in our lives. We wait in line to buy things or for things to be delivered contactless to us. We wait for the next advisory from MOM to know what can or cannot be done in our work situation. We wait to see which sectors of the economy will be open so that we can get back to business. And many parents cannot wait for schools to reopen!

In the middle of 2017, the company I was working for decided to close its Singapore office and I was retrenched for the first time in my life. Convicted that I should explore more meaningful options, with the assurance that God would provide, I started looking at work that would add value to the world – agri-food sustainability, recycling, re-purposing, helping the needy, reverse climate change etc. Thus began my journey of searching and waiting.

Meanwhile God did provide as He promised, just not enough for me to be comfortable.

My search continued as I went to many places and met different people doing different things. But I found nothing that put me in the right place to start, even when I was willing to volunteer and work without pay. This went on for 2 years.

At the end of 2019, I needed a top up in my financial reserves. Guess what? The company that retrenched me came back to me and offered me a job. I was a perturbed because this did not seem to take me forward in my quest. I asked God for an affirmation to take up the job and I received it the next day.

Two months into the job, news of the Coronavirus broke. Four months into the job, lockdowns began taking place around the world due to the virus, now named COVID-19. My company now has virtual townhall meetings every week, discussing pay cuts and putting our job security on the line. How should I deal with the uncertainty this time round?

Luke 21:36 reminds us to be watchful and pray for our ultimate goal is to be able to stand before the Son of Man when He comes again. I believe that our pursuit of God will bring the joy of God’s presence with us and will give us peace and comfort on earth as He prepares us to stand. As such, we need to be still and know that He is God (Psalms 46:10).

Waiting reveals who we worship. When our plans get waylaid and our level of discomfort and dissatisfaction rises, who or what do we turn to for help? What we focus on reflects what we value and that in turn points to what we worship. We must be careful not to fashion and worship our own golden calf in these times, like the Israelites did at the foot of Mount Sinai when they were instructed to wait but that wait proved too long for them.

Waiting in God is not time wasted. God is preparing us to be the persons He wants us to be. As such, we should not wait idly, but with a focus on God, even if we may not know the purposes of such waiting just yet. By and by, we will become more aware of God’s working in our lives, and hopefully be more assured of God’s hand in molding us, even as we go through life’s detours or rough patches.

Waiting also helps focus on God’s faithfulness. When the answers we seek do not seem to come easily, we can look back and look up. We can remember His goodness to us. We can remember His faithfulness and sing to the Lord like David does in Psalms 13:6 because He has dealt bountifully with us (ESV).

John 16:33 tells us that we will have trouble in this world but Christ has overcome the world.

Lastly, I would like to encourage us not to give up meeting online, even in these unusual times. Being rooted in the Word and keeping fellowship with the saints will hold us steady spiritually even when we are rocked, humanly. And let us remember the needy and the afflicted in prayer and offer practical help for that is how people will know we are His disciples.

God Bless.

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