Let the lack of faith go out of our lives, and let the fears go with it. Message-prayer from Moscow, Russia.
Jesus, in his sermon on the mount (Matthew 6: 25), said to his disciples and all the believers of future generations, «do not be alarmed,» but today this call brings to my mind the old saying: “this is easier said than done.”
The sudden onset of a deadly pandemic has filled our lives with ever-increasing anxiety, fatigue, and instability. We were suddenly plunged into an unprecedented unpredictability, uncertainty for the future, health and life itself, for the lives of loved ones. What will happen to the job, the children’s education, and will people still have enough money for food and housing? And most importantly, when will all this finally end?! This question is more than relevant, because we all feel and even understand that our society was completely unprepared for this global infection.
We feel the ground slipping from under our feet everywhere, not only for us, but also for those in power – those, who are called to make decisions, both at the country and the local levels. Governments in America, in Russia, and in Europe make mistakes and make big mistakes over and over again. Yes, they of course have the right to mistakes, and we as always – only on their consequences. This is against the background of the fact that each of us as a person loses control of his environment. In terms of household and socio-economic losses as well as personal and collective instability, we were immediately thrown back for an entire epoch, perhaps centuries ago, but unlike people in the past,, we were unprepared both for this instability and losses. People of the past lived in these troubles and fears for hundreds of years, for several generations — we are experiencing a pandemic today only the first weeks. Its tragic and dramatic consequences were like heavy stones falling on us from above, like the Egyptian executions.
And this is true. The feeling of confusion does not go away, on the contrary, it is added to the loss of hope for the preservation of our various freedoms, including moving in space, performing current tasks, making plans. In strict quarantine we even lose the usual rhythm of time. Today we are aware that the agenda of our current tasks, thoughts, feelings and emotions is increasingly dictated from the outside, by other people and unpredictable circumstances. Specifically, our personal, family and national resources are being depleted, and our opportunities to earn a living are diminishing; we feel increasingly vulnerable to the evils of the pervasive coronavirus and its consequences. We constantly keep in mind the open question: will we, our relatives, our friends get infected with the virus?
And here we should turn in a timely manner to Our Lord, who said that God does not use such tools as anxiety, fear, compulsion. He does not influence through them to advance his plans, his answers to people’s prayer requests. God works by faith, on faith, and through faith. «But without faith, it is impossible to please God; for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and will reward those who seek Him.» (Heb 11:6) Jesus said to his disciples on the eve of his last Passover and Calvary’s death: «And he saith unto them, why are ye so fearful, ye of little faith?» (Matthew 8: 26)
In the midst of all the changes and tragedies around us, let us remember the amazing Paschal sacrifice of Jesus for each of us. He is the most righteous person who has ever lived on earth, and he has endured so much that I can see the love shown, receive the gift of faith, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life in the Kingdom of God. This immediately completely changes the colors of the whole picture around us, our current misery, and anxiety and despair go away.
There is no doubt as to what Jesus ‘ response will be to requests to relieve us of the anxieties and dangers of the present situation: «Lay all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.» (1 Peter 5:7) but above all, He wants to comfort us, to restore peace and hope to our minds and hearts. He asks us to remember that Our heavenly Father knows what we need, so: «Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Lord Jesus, strengthen our faith so that we can trust Your promises. Let our distrust go away, and with it our fears. Let us always remember His personal command: «and if you ask anything of the Father in My name, I will do it, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.»14:13.14).
Jesus is risen indeed, for each of us.
Zaychenko A. S.( editor)