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You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm. Isaiah 25:4 In 2006, on my way back from a mission trip to Brazil, the plane experienced much turbulence. The pilot warned the passengers to fasten their seatbelts and hold on. The plane shook violently as many of the passengers started to scream out of fear. Strangely, the Lord made me go to sleep throughout most of the commotion. Before I went to sleep, I prayed and commended my spirit into the hands of God. I had just spent ten days in a missionary retreat praying and fellowshipping with Brazilian missionaries who were preparing to go back into the mission field. Some of the missionaries were going deep into the Amazonian forest to minister to indigenous communities. Others felt called to go to Africa while some were instructed by the Holy Spirit to go to the United States to preach the gospel. My spiritual battery was so charged that I had no fear when the plane began to shake violently. I knew that God was in charge of my life, and he alone determines whether I live or die. After a couple of hours of sleep, I woke up to hear the captain say that the worst was behind us, though there would still be turbulence throughout the journey because of a storm that was wreaking havoc in the Americas. My experience during that flight taught me three valuable lessons about weathering the storms of life. First, be still and know that God is in charge. Many people struggle to remain calm long enough to weather their storms. They tend to panic, thus losing their faith and their spiritual focus. Perhaps God is forcing people to shelter-in-place during this COVID-19 storm so we can be still and know that he is in charge. The Holy Spirit made me go to sleep throughout the stormy flight. It was God’s way of telling me to be still and rest in my faith in God. Perhaps God is making you do the same as you weather the storm of COVID-19. Second, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because we know that our labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). We have to be steadfast in our prayer life and our service to Almighty God, though our movement is limited during this pandemic. The captain of the plane remained steadfast in piloting it through the storm so the passengers can get to their destination safely. Because of his excellence in navigating the plane through the storm, all the passengers made it home unscathed. During this COVID-19 crisis, we have to be immovable in our faith in Almighty God. We may be battered and perplexed by the devastation of the pandemic, yet we have to continue to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, lean not unto our own understanding; in all our ways, submit to him, and he will direct us through this crisis. This is indeed the time for us to excel in our love and compassion for others. Third, be strong in the Lord and the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10). Many of us will experience the loss of a loved one. Some will lose their employment, while others will struggle to make ends meet. Yet we are to be strong and courageous. We have to remember the promises of God. He promises to supply all our needs according to his riches in glory. The Lord assures us that he will deliver us from all our troubles. He is a shelter in a time of storms. The Lord is our healer and the mender of our broken hearts. So yes, we have to be strong in the Lord as we weather the storm of coronavirus. For the Lord has been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, be a shelter for those who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. We need to be a refuge for those in elderly homes, and for those that have lost their employment.

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