I saw a post on Instagram the other day, “It is already five months into 2020, yet it’s still January.”
I grinned tiredly, couldn’t agree more. What a frantic start of a new decade! I don’t just mean personally. I mean, world-widely. I sighed when Harry and Mehgan decided to leave their royal title behind to pursue their peaceful life in Canada, feeling sorry for the royal family. Australia’s wildfire is still yet to be put out after a great deal of wildlife burnt to death. The basketball legend Kobe Bryant suddenly died in a helicopter crash with his young daughter. Though I don’t know much about him, I felt the shock from his countless fans. Lastly, I’m speechless about the terrible virus going on in my motherland and the great horror it’s created among the millions of Chinese.
This is our January, not to mention the pressure from waiting to know any further lead of my husband’s job hunting, thus plan the rest of the year.
Among all the hard news, the coronavirus is the hardest one for me. My parents-in-law live in Wuhan, where the mysterious deadly virus was discovered. They are trapped in their apartment, dared not to go out. You might have heard from the international news that the whole city of 11 million citizens was locked down during the Luna New Year, usually the busiest and merriest season of the year for Chinese. No shopping, no Disneyland, no fun. Hundreds have died of the virus inside China. The hospitals in Wuhan is chaos with their overflowing patients. Now the world’s started to worry about the virus’s infectiousness. Some countries have banned Chinese travelers. No one knows how long the epidemic will go on. Experts have started to calculate the possible economic loss caused by the epidemic. The number is unthinkable.
It’d been days that the first thing I did after waking up in the morning was to check the news on my phone. I thank God that we live in Switzerland at the moment, where there are world-class hospitals and no confirmed case of the coronavirus infection yet. But it doesn’t make it easier when I read one more headline. It’s heartbreaking.
I prayed. I cried. I’d been so tired of what’s going on in the world right now. So I switched off the notification on my phone.
I can use some peace.
I purposefully turned to my Bible this morning before I turned on my phone. With it’s open in my laps, I prayed. Then I remembered Ephesians 6, the chapter about our spiritual weapons. I turned the pages there.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV)
We are in a spiritual battle. It’s something vital to be reminded of. Most days, we wake up, eat, play, work, watch TV, chitchat with friends and family. We live our life on the surface without noticing any spiritual significance of the time we are living until our world is shattered into pieces, and nothing feels normal. What’s happening now, home thousands of miles away from home, is what woke me up into realizing my needs again in the battle.
I need the full armor of God—- the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness to share the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of Spirit (word of God).
Dear reader, though most likely you don’t live in China, you may be a big fan of Kobe Bryant. Or perhaps you are struggling with some other bad news. Like me, you desperately need some peace. Perspective adjustment is what’s needed sometimes. We are not living in a rosy peaceful world but a spiritual war. Some days are more evil and harder than others. Let’s be aware of the reality and intentionally put on the armor of God, living the life from the Calvary-gained victory.
Are you struggling with some bad news? How are you coping? Please leave a comment below. I’d like to pray with you!