By Dr Tim Jelleyman, CMFnz Chairperson | Apr 3 2020
Is it well with your soul? So much seems to have changed in a few short weeks! Many of us will have found ourselves busy adjusting how we function day-to-day at work and home. I have been trying to keep up with all the changes and with patients, families, health services negotiating pathways through the new landscape. In other aspects it has been a strange pause in activity.
In this changing context, I pray that you discover anew the opportunity to live as Paul instructed the Thessalonians : ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’ (1 Thessalonians 5.7-9). There you have it: simple, pro-active, continuous, and all made possible in Christ Jesus. So set your mind on ‘Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith’ (Hebrews 12.2).
We have been reminded the practice of washing hands, soap, 20 seconds. I have heard the ‘Happy Birthday’ song supporting the 20 second rule. How about singing a new song to the Lord? (Psalms 33.3, 96.1, 98.1, 149.1). We have had fun choosing scripture choruses to renew our minds with things above as we pause at the washbasin. One old one, ‘Emmanuel, God with us’(Matthew 1.23) has sort of stuck for me.
The World Health Organisation boss poignantly advised health systems to ‘Test, test, test’. Sound advice to beat this bug. Furthermore, I propose that we ‘Pray, pray, pray’. Over this time I have been meditating on God’s instruction to Solomon at the commissioning of the temple.
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7.13-14):
Ironically we have also found ourselves at this point in New Zealand history observing an ethical shift in our legislative framework and feeling the grief as our nation, in a human endeavour to deal with conundrums, takes liberties in the definition of life itself, without due reference to God our Maker (Psalms 95.6, 139.13-16). Nevertheless, in this call to prayer God speaks to us, people called by His Name, with an imperative to humbly repent, seriously seek Him and turn back to His ways. God gets personal. As people working for healing in our land we confront our own powerlessness to truly bring healing, body and soul. Only Jesus, reordering the priorities, is qualified to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven’ (Matthew 9.2).
So, in humble repentent prayer, let us together hope in the promise that He will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land. God’s words, not mine.