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Posted 5/2/2020

Welcome to May! Can't believe that we actually made it past March and April while being socially isolated and practising physical distancing. Time has gone by almost miraculously. Thinking back, the start of the lockdown in Vancouver on March 16 seemed light-years away.


Everyday, I'd follow the daily updates both by the federal and provincial governments. The top doctors have reiterated that the physical distancing practice is effective, and that the curve is flattening. Some provinces and communities are about to allow certain businesses to reopen to stimulate the economy and to give residents some form of normalcy, while other places like in Vancouver take a more cautious approach.


Some sporting leagues even allow players to resume training under certain conditions to ensure their health and safety, while other leagues are preparing plans and proposals to resume or finish the halted season, even if it means a later start for the next season. As a sports fan, I gladly welcome such news. It is better than watching classic games on YouTube.


Personally, I have adopted a stable daily schedule to maintain my spiritual pursuit and healthy living during this time. Besides attending church meetings three times a week via Zoom, I also join short call-in worships three times a day: 8:30am, noon, and 5pm. The full-time ministering brothers and sisters at my church created many “Abundant Worship” Zoom sessions to have Christians of all ages and life stages to daily draw close to God together, so that we may be affected by His love and remain joyful during the pandemic.


I would also listen to sermons and read spiritual books daily to equip myself with the truths. Together with having a stable sleeping pattern, eating healthy meals, and exercising (mainly light stretches), I have been training both my body and spirit. This is what Paul referred to Timothy as practising Godliness, which has eternal values.


Being advised to go out as little as possible under nice weather in April was difficult. Before the lockdown, I would venture out, especially to workout at community centres or seeing friends. Now, going out becomes a paranoia even when I wear a mask. I wouldn't want to contract the virus to test my health, and so I'd stay in my comfort zone called home.


Not able to see or be with those around you is a horrible feeling. I haven't seen my fellow believers since the lockdown, when I used to see them at least three times a week. Yes, I would still hear their voices at Zoom meetings, but it still lacks the physical element even if our webcams are on. I realize more how powerful and essential physical interaction can be.


Of course, even if we'd never see one another again in this life, we'd see each other eternally when Jesus takes the church into the cloud. The rapture is a glorious event where Christians from all ages gather, like a huge networking event, except we will have eternity to get to know one another as we govern with God and teach endless generations how to be close to God. The big gathering in the cloud would just be an ice-breaker for eternity. I can't wait!


Even though many signs and current events suggest that the Lord's return is soon, there are still things to do besides waiting for the rapture. As I mentioned before, this is a good opportunity to share about God with unbelievers around us, not only to give them peace to face the pandemic, but for them to be eternally saved.


We must continue to trust in God ourselves before we share God's love and joy to others. Even if we may have doubts about the government policies, we must pray for those in power and trust that God is causing things to work together everyday. Our restricted lives can be difficult to accept even for Christians, and some even suggests that this may be our new normal, but we must maintain our hope in God, not just for things to return to normal, but for us to have strength and joy to live everyday.


Whether individually or collectively, God has helped many through troubled times throughout the ages. We would often question why calamities or tragedies occur, and we would speculate on the lack of preventive measures, but no one grieves as much as God would who witnesses people violates His gift of free will. However, He also knows that more people would know and believe in Him during tough times when we take the courage and urgency to spread and gospel, because we know our belief and relationship with God is true, and we want as many to experience the ultimate peace and everlasting joy as possible.


As April showers lead to May flowers, God has led us from darkness to light as His love nourishes us. We were like thorns hurting ourselves, others, and God; now we have life, colours, and bloom like flowers. God has changed us to be glorious and to brighten the otherwise dark world. As shown by the renewal of life in plants and trees in spring, the renewal in us is both miraculous and beautiful as we “put off” our old and sinful selves, and “put on” our renewed selves with the yearning for God's love and hopeful perspective on situations and our future that God has prepared for us.


As long as we have faith in God, our spirit will not wither, because God the gardener nourishes us with spiritual nutrients everyday. We will continue to grow spiritually and shine forth even brighter than before. We will grow even faster when we pursue God with brothers and sisters—those who love God. So even though we are physically distanced, morden technologies help to connect us together and be close to one another than ever before. We are like flowers blooming togehter in bunches to beautify this world.



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