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Opinion & Analysis

This pandemic knows no discrimination

By Michael Mifsud

As I write this, we have just been informed that the “lock down” will continue for possibly the next thirty days.

For many this will increase the already heightened levels of anxiety and worry, not only for themselves and their own health but also of those whom they love.

Added to this, is the uncertainty surrounding the Economy and eventual return to “the new normal” and what that will look like.

These are genuine, logical worries, even fears, based on genuine concerns and circumstances beyond our control.

If there’s one thing many of us will have been reminded of, it is the realisation of how a very “little thing” can invade our lives and cause havoc, all our well-made plans and intentions quickly coming to nothing!

This pandemic knows no discrimination and has affected people of all descriptions, people of faith and those of none, rich and poor, fat and thin, intelligent and not so intelligent.

Gibraltar is no exception, and all sorts of Gibraltarians will understandably be experiencing fear and hopelessness as we try to mitigate the effects of this virus.

Ultimately, however, we are at it’s mercy, or are we? I am a believer, a believer in a Creator God who has revealed Himself in and through the Bile and, supremely, in the Person of Jesus. John tells us God’s defining Characteristic, the principle that guides all God does and says, and it is “God is Love”.

This, for me, makes all the difference in my life and determines the way in which I understand, and respond, not just to this virus and situation, but also any adversity that may come my way.

I know many have an understanding and perception of God that questions the veracity of this statement, with even natural disasters being called “Acts of God”, as if it were some retribution, or punishment from a an angry, even spiteful, God.

Some have even claimed this pandemic is His Judgement on a sinful world. From the very beginning He has been misunderstood and misrepresented and we have believed the lie that He is against us and cannot be trusted.

However, we see in Jesus, the full revelation of the Godhead, that He is not interested in punishment but healing and restoration as he submits to us and our sin, hanging on a cross.

Knowing this, that perfect LOVE casts out all fear, we have peace, resting in His Love. We can all say with Paul, “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor other created thing (Covid19) will be able to separate us form the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

However, in the middle of this crisis, it is easy to focus on the dangers, uncertainties, consequences etc, etc , becoming hopeless and anxious, each time we see the news reminding us of these things.

We need to be informed but we also need to be careful not to be overwhelmed by fear. Paul encourages us to “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally family, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”