This article is written by an NZCMS Mission Partner serving in a Spanish community. We asked her to share her reflections with us after two weeks of being in a strict lockdown.
I have never been so envious of people with dogs or quite so elated to take the rubbish out to the bin. Spain is in its second week of full lockdown and cabin fever is starting to get real.
The authorities have enforced strong measures to prevent people leaving the house for anything other than the essentials. Unlike New Zealand we can’t go out for exercise with the exception of dog owners who can leave the house briefly for doggy business.
What was last week considered quite unique is now very quickly turning into a nightmare. We have clocked over 2,500 deaths here and in my region the toll stands at 25.
How is God leading me in this? My reflections are not fully formed but I would like to share a few with you as New Zealand moves into lockdown as well.
Church Is Still Church
Like many places, my church here is finding creative ways to stay in communion with each other through online group calls, messages and phone calls. I even participated in an online talent show the other day! God is teaching us how to lovingly serve one another and to look out for those who are by themselves and/or feeling alone.
Prayer Gathers Momentum
In these extraordinary times God has been moving me to pray even more fervently for the Church and for those without certain hope. It has been beautiful to see brothers and sisters in Christ praying even more fervently for our very sick and fearful country, for the authorities, medical workers and for those that are suffering at the hands of such a terrible virus. As the days drag on the momentum can wain but I hope we will persevere and stay motivated.
Through something so devastating God is giving His church here some unique opportunities to speak into people’s lives. In my wee corner of the country a small team of us are using Facebook to share reflections and questions that we hope will engage people on a spiritual level. Please pray with us that people would be in touch and that they would be moved to pick up dusty Bibles sitting on bookcases.
God Knows What Will Happen Tomorrow
Believers here often say “If the Lord wills it”. I had thought that it got overused but, in these days, the Bible verses that follow that very theme have stuck in my head. I really don’t know what will happen tomorrow because I am not God.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” - James 4:13-15.
In these unknown times the two words that God keeps bringing back to me are ‘unchanging’ and ‘rest’. I don’t know what tomorrow holds or how long this crisis will go on for but I can always rest secure in Him because He is the one who never changes.
I pray for all of those reading that you would come to know this reality in your lives. Please pray with me that the church here would rest in this security and that others would come to know this secure hope for the first time in the midst of tragedy.