17 years ago, Singapore was tested with SARS. Those of us who lived through those days would remember the FEAR and by GOD’s grace, the triumphant when it was over. And here we are, being tested again by the current virus. Have I learnt anything?
I do believe our nation have come away stronger since 17 years ago. There are more measures and preparation put in place and in that sense we’re better prepared. None-the-less, we are being tested again. I pen these thoughts as a pastor, a disciple, a husband, a father, indeed, a human being. To say that I am not afraid would be a lie. On the other hand to say that I am terrified, would also NOT be true. So how do I think about the current situation?
1. It is a reminder of my mortality. I am reminded that death stalks us all the time. The current virus outbreak merely brings that more to the fore. Do I truly believe that there is life after I die? Indeed, do I really know GOD and believe that this life is NOT all there is? I am reminded that I will die. And… that death is NOT the end… because of what JESUS has done for me. I am deeply grateful!
2. It is a reminder of my values. I fear death to the degree I cling on to this life. I cling on to this life perhaps because I want the things here more than heaven. I need to take a good hard look at how I live, where are my treasures? Am I only saying I long for GOD and yet at the same time, want the blessings of this life here? (This is not to call us to be ascetics and run off to a monastery.) But am I trying to serve TWO masters? Is my fear a reflection that my treasures may be misplaced?
3. It is a reminder of my need. We are made to need GOD, that’s what creatures are. We are dependent beings, contingent to our Creator. But life in the “normal” lulls me into a sense of complacency where I can live through many days without GOD. Difficult situations are reminders of my need for GOD. It can make us more dependent on Him. And anything that makes us dependent on Him cannot be bad.
In other words, I am being tested now. Do I really trust GOD? (This does not mean I do not take precautions.) What’s really, really important to me? Am I fully a disciple of Jesus? Who is truly my Master? Someone once said: “Don’t waste a good crisis!” This current crisis is GOD’s way of revealing to me what’s on my inside. What has it revealed to you?
Rev Dr Chua Chung Kai is an Associate Pastor of Covenant Evangelical Free Church (Covenant EFC). A medical doctor by training, he subsequently graduated with a Masters in Divinity from the Singapore Bible College in the year 2000.