Matthew 6:25-34

Chris Mountford encourages us know the peace of God during these uncertain times

Chris Mountford
Chris Mountford

The coronavirus pandemic has hugely impacted most of our lives over the last few months.

In March, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown, he said, "All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer."

What followed was a huge national effort to halt the growth of the virus and daily life changed. dramatically.
Of course, the restrictions meant schools, high streets, amenities, places of worship and more shut and social contact household hugely restricted.

We reported on this extensively on Cross Rhythms City Radio in Stoke-on-Trent.

And at a time of intense uncertainty, we partnered with local churches to put out messages of hope and encouragement. In the first feature, Rev. John Alessi, of St Paul's Church remarked on the 'slowing down of time' as we spent time in our homes and separated from many of our family and friends and he encouraged people to seek God, pray and listen.

In the weeks and months that followed, it's been a roller coaster; we've experienced highs and lows.

Some of us have been fortunate to have been able to spend more time with our families and enjoy moments together that perhaps may have passed us by in busier times. Some of us have been given the time to get round to addressing the list of things-to-do in our houses or gardens we've been putting off for months or years. Some of us have experienced the heart-warming satisfaction of helping others who have been shielding, check up on our neighbours and coming together in our communities for a weekly display of gratitude to our carers.

On the other hand, it's been a time of worry and sadness. Some of us have experienced challenges in our mental health as we've experienced isolation. Perhaps we've been stretched by working from home and looking after kids not at school. Some of us have been robbed of important celebrations. Some of us have lost loved ones and friends and not been able to attend their funeral.

One of our radio presenters is a local minister who recently told us how he officiated at the funeral of a woman who had been in hospital for routine treatment, picked up COVID19 there and subsequently died. In putting back to him the unfortunate circumstances of the death, he was struck how her husband simply spoke only of the deep gratitude he had for the 60 years he had been given to spend time with her.

We all have our stories to tell.

As lockdown thankfully begins to ease and some elements of life return to more of a sense of normal, there is still a great deal of uncertainty.

We've been reporting plenty of stories on the radio station of job losses locally and nationally. Some of still anxious about being around other people. Just last week, the Prime Minister spoke of waging a long, hard fight against coronoavirus by 'hoping for the best, but planning for the worst'.

I recently interviewed the singer/songwriter Philippa Hanna about her new album and asked how lockdown had affected her. She said it had prompted her to 'get back to basics' with her faith, relying on God one day at a time.

It reminds me of some words of Jesus Christ, recording in the book at Matthew in the Bible. The passage speaks of looking to God for our day-to-day needs and not to worry about tomorrow:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labou: or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34)

At this time, may you know the peace of God, may you know his loving heart toward you and may you experience the strength and grace that you need for each day of these uncertain times. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.