Happy New Year 2022 to family and friends around the world!
Its been 2 years since COVID-19 hit the world, and brought worry, uncertainty, and stress. I remember how troubled I felt at the end of 2019 and start of 2020 as news of the virus spreading through Wuhan China and very quickly through Europe and then New York was coming over our TV screen. I feared for my family and the world.
In March 2020 schooling in USA went online, and my kids stayed home till March 2021, before they returned to in-person classes. That was a painful period caring for our kids mental health and our own. Lectures at the University where I teach went online and has remained online; it has been impossible shielding oneself from the difficulties and pains of the young students.
At the start of December 2021, I was terribly exhausted and looking forward to the end of year holiday. In thinking through the extraordinary burden of COVID-19 on our lives, I have drawn strength from an aspect of the life experience of Jacob.
In Genesis 31:36-42 (God’s Word Translation) (shortened): Then Jacob became angry and confronted Laban… “What is my offense that you have come chasing after me… “I’ve been with you for 20 years… The scorching heat during the day and the cold at night wore me down, and I lost a lot of sleep… I worked for you 14 years for your two daughters and 6 years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would have sent me away empty-handed by now. God has seen my misery and hard work, and last night he made it right.”
This is Jacob recounting 20 years of hard times; he was worn down by heat during the day, cold at night, and lost a lot of sleep. It seemed like he was forgotten, but with his own lips he said “God has seen my misery and hardwork… and… made it right” – God saw his pain and hardwork and opened a new page for him, glory!
Oh God, like you did for Jacob, open a new page for me, for us, for the world in 2022; we have lost a lot of sleep because of the extra-ordinary burden of COVID-19, change our story in Jesus name, Amen!