Over the past few days as a nation, we had to implement into our lives terminologies, and jargon that has changed the way we live as a society. COVID - 19 has introduced us to a new day in the Bahamas. Terms such as social distancing and curfew, though they exist in our vocabularies, they have not been a part of our culture. Unfortunately, some persons see these measures as extreme and unwarranted, but I encourage each of you to follow the advice of the nation’s authorities as they share information necessary to protect us from further transmission of this deadly virus.

Isn’t it true that before the coronavirus arrived at our shores, many parents wished they had the opportunity to spend more time with their children? Some of you were praying for a few days off from work because your bodies are tired and badly in need of rest. It is a fact that large numbers of people may not have been practicing good hygiene, adhering to the eight laws of health, or even worse, we may have taken the gift of good health for granted.
So how do we make the best of this situation we have found ourselves in? Allow me to share with you one of the many Biblical world views we can use to encourage us in the midst of this pandemic. If you take a look at life through this lens during this dim season, it should help you to avoid the temptation of complaining, and inspire you to obey the instructions of the government and our health officials. A curfew is a wonderful opportunity if we use our time wisely to examine our value systems and to learn all we can from this experience. And with the things we learn, let’s use that knowledge to guide us in the future.
To those who miss the fellowship of worshipping together in a church building, the camaraderie of the work environment, or hanging out with your friends in school; remember that being disconnected physically does not mean that we have to be disconnected spiritually. Social distancing does not negate social disengagement. We are people of faith, and faith shines brightest in the darkest hour. Like Joshua and Caleb, we are called upon to speak positively about God, when the focus of others might be uncertainty and doubt. Let us spread this good word far and wide, "God is in control, and His record of bringing us through trials are the things that affirm our faith in Him.” Remember, God brought us through the dreaded mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease, the swine flu, H1N1, Sars, and Ebola, therefore our God will bring us through COVID - 19.
As believers, we will not be able to explain the way God chooses to do things, (see Isaiah 55:8-9), but because of His record of victories over viruses, I encourage you to trust Him in all things. Soon, COVID - 19 would have passed because God will show Himself strong on our behalf. Therefore, I conclude with a few appropriate words David shares with us in Psalm 61:1-3 for circumstances like COVID19. David says “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee… For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” What the non-believer sees as disaster and devastation, the believer sees as occasions for God’s glory to be manifested. (John 11:4)

As Christians, we are concerned, but not hopeless because we believe even COVID - 19 will be used for the good of them that love God, and are called for His purpose. Coronavirus will not be the last battle when the next virus appears, and our hearts are overwhelmed, like David, we will look unto the hills from whence cometh our help, and our cry will be, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

--T. Basil Sturrup, Ministerial Secretary for the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventist