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Thought for the weekend

Craig Cooney



A woman wearing a protective face mask passes a shop window in Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA)

A woman wearing a protective face mask passes a shop window in Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA)

A woman wearing a protective face mask passes a shop window in Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA)

Have you found yourself riding on the 'corona-coaster' in recent months? That's a term I heard recently to describe the emotional ups and downs many people have been experiencing since lockdown began. You could be loving the slowness and space of life one minute and the next be feeling deeply sad and anxious. Wherever you are on the spectrum right now, it's fair to say that all of us have had lives impacted this year in ways we never imagined possible.

Part of the tension I have experienced during the past five months has been the realisation that I am not in control. At least, not as much as I thought I was. I can have goals and plan, strategise and schedule, yet have it all fall apart because of a virus that is completely out of my hands. For someone like me who has slight 'control freak' tendencies, this can be most unsettling.

Yet it has also been incredibly liberating. Because it has caused me to re-fix my eyes and refocus my heart on to the only one who ultimately is in charge of it all.

For the first 10 weeks of lockdown, I led our church through daily devotions in the book of Revelation. This apocalyptic puzzle, full of strange symbols and imagery, was birthed out of a season of intense pressure and persecution. The Apostle Paul had been exiled to a little island called Patmos because of his faith in Jesus. He was effectively quarantined - alone and isolated. One Sabbath, as he was praying and worshipping, he had a supernatural vision and was permitted to look into the invisible, spiritual realm. He sees many things which could disturb and upset him: judgements, natural disasters, the rise of the Antichrist, a lake of fire. At times it's like something out of a horror movie. And yet, through it all, one image is constant: God is on His throne.

No matter how dark things get, how desperate the situation appears, how stressful life becomes, we can anchor our lives on that one truth: God is still absolutely supreme and completely sovereign. He has not abdicated His throne, nor will He. Everything in history is moving towards the end that He has preordained. It appears we all might be on this 'corona-coaster' for another while. If so, be fully assured that it's not completely out of control. Put all of your hope and confidence in the one who promises: "Those who overcome will sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat with my Father on his throne." (Rev 3:21).

Belfast Telegraph