The Covid- 19 pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced before. The tally of the sick and deceased is mounting, making many fear and struggle with the improbability of what lies ahead. In a way, everything to date feels chaotic and uncertain. Pauline Akello explores the effect of Covid-19 on different people and how God is in control, regardless.
Covid-19 gave us a scare. There were salary and transport adjustments. With the movement restrictions, we had to foot from far away and sometimes the day’s sales would be low.
We saw a decrease in demand of our products, but by God’s grace, we still got many clients.
People would call from places like Entebbe asking for different items. We made progress in widening our market.
Our daily operating process changed with the standard operating procedures, especially with the way of interacting with customers.
On a personal level, from this pandemic, I have become more intentional about my health.
I am learning to be more proactive about exercise and what I eat.
Earlier in this second lockdown, I got some Covid-19 symptoms, so it made me come to the realisation that I should not take my health for granted. I thank God because my family and I are well.
Positively, I learnt to try out different things. I engaged in urban farming and poultry.
Through this period, I had the opportunity to focus on ministry as Children’s Church coordinator and teacher. I learnt how to reach out to children regardless of the lockdown.
Negatively as decorator, there was reduction in clients and business was bad, as compared to the pre-lockdow period.
Events have been interrupted for almost two years now. The available clients expected half prices for decor services, thus minimum income.
However, as a believer, Joel 2:25-27 gave me hope. I also coped by cutting the cost of operation through hiring family members.
I fervently believe that God is in control because of the fact that I am alive and all my family members are healthy.
In fact, He gave me new ideas for persistence through farming. God indeed cares.
As I was still coming to terms with the reality of the pandemic, someone offered to pay for my rent. I am relying on trusting through reading His Word and prayers.
Covid-19 brought a lot of pain with the loss of my dearest brother. It was hard. On the other hand, I had more time to fellowship in my home.
There were changes in Church routines. Initially, it was odd. But because it was a lifeline, it became soothing with time.
The sweeping wage stagnation and radical financial cuts affected our lives as teachers. Personally, I have learned to wait on the Lord.
I miss seeing the kids excited to be around their friends. I look forward to being back at work.
We really missed so much in the last two years, and it is sad. Every stakeholder in education knew the lack of technology was a problem.
An enormous number of students did not have the tools for learning at home.
Teaching virtually was impossible even when we desired to help because of the limited access, technical know-how and experience with the requisite knowledge to keep teaching and learning going on.
But I am hopeful of returning to in-person teaching and learning because my students need it and so do I.
Teaching is a part of me. So, I miss hugging and interacting with my students.
Covid-19 brought both positive and negative repercussions. What stands out is those vaccine mandates going on in the world.
But faith and knowing God is in control is what nourished me and my family amidst the tough times. Without doubt, God is always in control.
I believe God absolutely cares for His peopl. He directs all His providence in times of need such the Covid-19 lockdown period.
For me, it was God’s grace. Without God, nothing can move. There is nothing that happens that God is not aware of.
Even with the many deaths, He has kept us. We do not have any power as human beings and truthfully, all power belongs to Him. I thank God for His grace.
He sustained us. We did not fall sick, moreover we were sleeping in the market.
I have learnt to live with what today brings and surrender all to the Cross.
This unseen giant led to hard times, anxiety, loneliness and depression due to the loss of our loved ones.
There was loss of jobs, especially for my sisters, brothers and friends.
God’s Crown Children’s School, of which I am the director closed. But I thank God because during this time, my brother got born again.
I had more time to pray and do street evangelism. I also perfected my music production skills and did my first online worship, which was a success. God really favoured me in this season!
Amidst the lockdown, Proverbs 16:9: “A man heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps,” made so much meaning to me.
Meaning of God’s control
It is easy to lose hope and brood over the negative effects of the lockdown, especially among the global community.
But, like it is said: “For every low, there is a high,” even the Covid-19 lockdown has a silver lining.
However, the fundamental question is: “Is everything that is happening in the world, happening according to God’s will? Does God control all things all the time?”
Many people questioned why God would let something like Covid-19 invade His creations. We have to know that God’s ways are not ours. It is evidenced from multiple examples in the Bible that God controls everything.
But how do we know that He always controls everything? How do we know He is always the one in charge?
The Bible teaches: “God’s sovereignty is an essential aspect of who He is, that He has supreme authority and absolute power over all things” (Ephesians 1:11-12).
Therefore, Christians can trust and rely on Him to supply as He did by the sacrifice of His Son, for His glory.
Our purpose is to praise and worship Him, not to try to manipulate Him for answers through prayer on our terms. He has the last word.
The Israelites expected the Lord to exercise control in the manner of a Roman soldier over His troops; in a cause and effect pattern.
Jesus’ disciples could not imagine any other type of display, least of all the agonised and humiliated form of their crucified Rabbi.
Life itself falls under the command of He who bestows life in the first place. He knows the end from the beginning.
God’s personal involvement in the world’s affairs does not eliminate the fact the world is so evil, or whether Satan has much to do with affairs on earth.
Our perspective on the Covid-19 situation might simply be ignorance of Biblical reality.
He sees the future
There are surely many ways that God’s plan for our lives is better than ours.
A major part of the reason is that He can see the future while we cannot. We cannot even see into the next minute.
At best, we can only take educated guesses, but God knows for certain what will happen tomorrow, next week, and years ahead.
Additionally, we may plan but God directs. We might think we are in charge of where we are going, but Proverbs 20:24: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,” reveals otherwise.
We are better off trusting God with our future than making our own plans.
That is not saying we should not plan for the future. Rather, it means God’s ways are always higher, and His choice always prevails.
He knows the future we do not. So next time God’s will and yours do not align, and before you get horribly bent out of shape, remind yourself that you do not know all the circumstances so you cannot make a definitive assessment of the situation as to whether it is ultimately good or bad.
Then remember that God’s will is good, acceptable and perfect.
We begin with the truth that God is trustworthy. Learning to trust Him fully is a lifelong process.
He simply cannot make the mistakes we do. When we trust in Him and give Him control, we know He will guide us down the right path.
Our problems do not take Him by surprise. We have to choose to trust in Him, much like we have to choose to give up control.
Psalm 56:3-4: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord” relates with Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.
When we struggle to give up control, it is usually out of fear of the unknown.
We do not want to face whatever is in front of us blindly. If you choose, you will never venture into the future alone because God always promises to be there for you.
Joshua 1:9 states: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.
Deuteronomy 32:4: “His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.” This means God does not get it wrong. So, trust in Him with all your heart.