Joy in Covid-19

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ON 17 March 2020, the government announced that MCO would begin on March 18. Everyone was panicking and afraid that they would be “attacked” by the Covid-19 virus.

On the 23rd I began to feel unwell. First I had diarrhoea, then I hiccupped for two consecutive days, and then my cough became more and more serious. Every time I coughed, my chest felt very uncomfortable. I also lost my appetite and my sense of taste. This was followed by fever for three days, and I even fainted. At that time, I didn’t think too much, and didn’t know that I might be infected with the Covid-19 virus. During this period, my wife and my parents took turns taking care of me, so that I could at least slowly recover some of my strength.

On March 28, I received a call from the Ministry of Health saying that my friend had been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus. Because he had been in contact with me, I also had to undergo a test. At that time, I was very disturbed, and even prepared emotionally for a positive test report. Sure enough, I received a call from the hospital two days later saying that I was positive, so I drove to the Central Hospital for quarantine that day.

During the quarantine period in the hospital, there were naturally times of insomnia. When I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, I looked out the window to admire the stars in the night sky and constantly reminded myself: God’s grace is like the stars in the sky, countless. I also repeatedly thought of Matthew 6:26-31, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’”

Strength to battle the virus
I am very grateful that despite the virus, God’s providence is sufficient and full of comfort. I am very grateful to the pastors and brothers and sisters of different churches for interceding for me during the period of isolation in the hospital, so that I was more confident and felt the love of God more. Thank you Jesus for helping me to get better quickly and that I no longer have pain and discomfort caused by the virus.

Because of the coronavirus, I was quarantined for a total of 61 days – 47 days in the isolation center, and 14 days at home. During this period, a total of six nucleic acid tests were performed. The first five times were always positive, until the sixth time when it finally turned negative. In the process of waiting hopefully for the test results but getting disappointed each time, I gradually learned to comfort myself by reading Psalms and singing poetry. I was able to overcome the 61 terrible days of isolation from my family.

When I asked God like the poet of Psalm 22:1-2, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.” I felt God respond to me with David’s Psalm 23:1-6, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Yes, because of the love of the Lord Jesus, because of the whippings he suffered, I was healed and have fully recovered! Through relentless exercise, my current state of health and physical fitness seems to be better than before. During this illness, my greatest experience was to obey God in everything, have faith in everything, rely on him in everything, learn not to complain in adversity, but thank God and praise God in adversity.

The virus is ruthless, but God is kind. I hope that during this pandemic, we will be able to train ourselves instead of creating more chaos and spreading false news. Whether it is quarantining at home or returning to work in the city, we must pay close attention to the pandemic situation, to gain relevant knowledge, and take precautions. Remember to check in when you go out, write down your real name and phone number, try your best to do your part, and be a witness of Christ and abide by the SOP stipulated by the government! In this way, we can strengthen the battle against the pandemic; with the Lord Jesus, we will surely be able to overcome it!

By Allan Chai
(Sentosa Methodist Church, Kuching West)
Translated by Joy Tie
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