30 April 2020

This is the reply and question the disciples made when Jesus asked them whether they too will go away like some of the followers who found the sayings of Jesus too difficult to receive.

The reply and question revealed that the faithful disciples knew to a certain extent that in reality, there is no one else they could really turn to, for Jesus had the words of life and the ways of life.

During this covid-19 crisis, many believers cannot fellowship with fellow believers physically in church; they also at times find it hard and difficult to stay at home for such a long period. There are those, despite being believers, who are ‘plagued’ with anxiety and the fear of being ‘victims’ of this virus. Some may find themselves struggling with illness, the loss of jobs, the uncertainty of the future and the vivid news of many in other countries facing poverty, famines and no income to even continue from day to da- these are no help in allaying their ‘fears’ and worries.

In such situations, perhaps, the question ‘to whom shall we turn?’ becomes ever so relevant for us as christians. Is our faith bolstered by the presence of those who bring ‘fun’ and ‘cheer’ to our lives in the community, in the church building, in the interaction with those of similar interests? Does our faith in God take a drastic dip when all these ‘supporting structures’ went missing?

The thoughts expressed by Spurgeon in the following are so relevant:-

“Trees that receive life from the earth and the sun – send forth their branches to receive the sun, and spread their roots into the earth, which brought them forth. Fish will not live out of the water t hat breeds them. Chicken are no sooner out of their shell but they shroud themselves under the feathers of the hen by whom they were at first hatched….
This is an excellent lesson for every believer. All our instincts should lead us to our God. We ought not to need so much as directing,much less impelling – toward the great source of our spiritual life. We ought as naturally to seek after the Lord from day to day – as the river seeks the ocean, or the sheep its pasture, or the bird its nest. “O God, you are my God, early will I seek you,” should be the perpetual cry of our heart. Onward and upward be still our movement – a secret longing ever burning in us toward the Lord our God.
To whom else should we go? The question has never received an answer, and never will receive one. As we find all in God – so we find no satisfaction outside of Him. What the fish would be without water, or the chick without the hen – that we would be without our God.”

As we ponder over this question during such times we are going through, the answer may reveal where the treasure of our hearts reside; is our christian life dependent on the presence of the encouragement of others, even fellow believers and the ‘joy and highs’ present in such activities? Or are we at peace, and at rest and truly satisfied even in the absence of such, although they may be legitimate, as long as we are in the presence of our Lord and God?

“Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!” Psalm 73;25-26

May this be increasing true of our lives as we grow to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind.