Faithfulness of God

His "Karuna" is Stronger than Corona

In these day, every morning I wake up I am so tempted to read the news first than read the Bible or any encouraging devotion. The news I am afraid to hear is about how many have lost their battle to Coronavirus, whether the toll of positive cases is rising, if there are any more cases identified in my city etc. There is unexplainable tension which, from the start of the day till the end, makes the heart heavy and forces the mind to think about nothing but this frightening disease which is spreading across the world rapidly.

The fear of the unknown and what’s next is real. Even though social distancing, closed schools and staying at home haven’t affected me much, because most of my time is spent being inside the home and my son is being home-schooled. However, the most unusual thing is to see no person on the road, closed shops, the news of city closing down, no sound of vehicles on the highways, no conversations of people heard around or no children playing in the locality. It almost feels like a lonely Island.

In this most unknown season of life, one can’t just think in a composed way or do anything without losing concentration and enthusiasm. Just a sneeze or slight coughing from the kids or my husband makes me imagine the worst. I am cleaning the house more than I did before, taking every precaution as explained by the experts, checking on children’s health more than I did before, reading and watching every piece of news on social media more than I did before, using WhatsApp to read and watch every forwarded message & video and every piece of information on COVID-19 more than I did before,  getting lost in my thoughts while doing the household chores more than I did before, and most of all to be honest, I am praying without fail every moment for God’s protection and His grace more than I did before.

At one moment there is a feeling of faith in God and the next moment the frightening news overpowers the faith and makes the mind have anxious thoughts. These mixed feelings remind me of a story in Bible when Peter asks Jesus if he too could walk on water. Jesus asks him to come over. As Peter walks, seeing the wind, he gets afraid, his faith begins to waver and he begins to sink. He cries out to Jesus to save him. We read further that Jesus immediately reaches out and rescues him.

Peter’s doubt and fear make him to sink in the water, but despite that Jesus holds his hand and saves him.

Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31

In the same way, when I begin my day stepping out of my bed believing God for peace, strength, joy and more faith to walk by, but each time the wind of scary news comes in, each time I hear children sneeze or cough, each time I read the statistic of cases being raised, I begin to sink in the anxiety, in the unknown and the unpredictable outcome of this challenging season. Even randomly imagining what it would look like if I become a victim of it or my loved ones become a victim of it.

Being a human, it’s easy to feel concerned about many things; it’s ok and just normal to have fear of the unknown and be worried about our beloved ones. But it also is possible to focus more on the promising and uplifting things in the midst of this crisis. It is also possible to fix our eyes on Jesus rather than the challenging situation.

In midst of all the daunting news on social media, a beautiful encouraging card I came across which is in my native Hindi language. It says that “God’s mercy (meaning Karuna) is stronger than the Corona. There is healing in Jesus’ name”.

The fear will be real but God’s grace & compassion will be real too. With our human efforts, we can take all possible measures to remain safe but the truth is: – He will always protect us not only during the pandemic but during every crisis that will show up. He will rush to hold our hand not only when we sink in our fear, but also when we walk by His promises, He will guide us to do what’s right and necessary not only when we feel hopeful but also when we are down in our faith. His Karuna (Mercy) will be always bigger than the Corona we are afraid of.

Stay safe, Stay encouraged and Stay in His Mercy!

Faithfulness of God

When “What if” Entangles Your Mind

A year ago, when my husband approached me saying that he thinks we, as a family, should move to North India to begin a ministry among children and youths in my home town, all I wanted to say was a Big No. I gave him all the reasons why it wasn’t possible or even realistic moving from one state to another with no balance in bank, no resources of support, no ministry links, a child who had recently dropped out of school, another one with severe medical issues and the associated travelling challenges. It just felt so overwhelming more than a promising decision to even think about.

Every night the “what if” questions would run through my mind. What if it isn’t God’s will? What if we can’t get all the finance we need for the move? What if after telling our decision to our families, they won’t stand by us? What if the kids won’t adjust to the climate there? What if we don’t begin or continue any work there? What if we fail? All these negative scenarios would make me not to agree with his decision.

I didn’t want to leave the comfort zone which I had created over the years to stay at home and look after the kids. All my desires to contribute to Kingdom work and be a blessing to others apart from my family were buried under the thought that maybe being in the home was all that I would get to do for the years to come. After the couple of ministry plans failed in the past, I could hardly believe for any sudden shift to take place for me.

The obstacles which bothered me, bothered all our families too.  They were concerned about us as we are a family of special kids, with minimum income and a number of emotional and physical issues to deal with. The sudden decision with only a month to shift was something out of the box for me as I am so much into planning, preparing and measuring all the pros and cons before I get myself into anything. For two weeks I couldn’t agree with my husband’s decision but I did pray for God’s will to be done in this matter.

I made a list of both the possibilities and the obstacles of our shifting. Before I did so, I decided that if the possibilities outweighed the obstacles, I would go with his decision and trust God for the rest.

To my surprise the possibilities were more than the obstacles. And all I could do was to place my hand over the list of possibilities, pray and focus only on them and trash the obstacles list. I began to think only the positive outcome and chose to believe that God’s got us in His hands. Whenever the “what if’s” bothered me, I would take out the list of possibilities and read it out to feel hopeful.

Things fell in place. The support we received from our family, friends and church was exactly the amount we needed for our shifting and settling down here in Nagpur. Everything actually went more smoothly than I imagined. God opened doors for us to pioneer a small work among the kids in the form of Kids Club. My kids did adjust to the hard climate here. My mom has been a great support for me to take care of my daughter. My son is doing wonderfully and he is being homeschooled.

It’s been a year and only by God’s grace we are contributing into the lives of these little ones by sharing Godly principles, values and encouragement through various activities and methods. They are cherishing moments for us as we encourage them for their future lives, instill in them the lessons of values, see them learn to follow the path of truth & love and most of all to see them laugh, dance, share their opinions, fears and doubts freely and be themselves at this place. They are very eager to come every weekend and they are usually two hours earlier than the actual time of the club:)

Over the year, I am learning to put my trust more in God despite the “what ifs”. Obstacles may come, things may not worked as planned, “what ifs” may continue in my mind but I will choose to believe that even if challenges come, God is still with us, His plans are always good, my fear doesn’t stop His plans from happening, when He begins a work, He stands by it, He holds us in His hands, He cares for my buried dreams and He makes everything beautiful in His time.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9