“How have you seen God’s activity during the week?” is the first question of a Bible Study that I am doing weekly. With the change in many of our lives in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is pretty much working at home and virtually, in meeting after meeting. Each week seems the same as the week before and unless something happens at work or at home, it is harder and harder to give a different answer. I have started to leave this question to the end.
Why has it become so hard to recall God’s activity during the week? Perhaps, I have taken God for granted and pushed God into a routine? Or, am I looking in the wrong place? Recently, a friend shared, “If we do not pause and think about what God has been doing in our life, we will not be likely to count our blessings or open our eyes to what God is doing. How can we be thankful?” This struck a chord in me. We are called to walk with the Lord, but I must have slowed down and been looking at my mobile (worldly commitments), so I did not see God waiting for me to look up and walk along with Him.
Yet, this year, in our study of Philippians and Colossians, one of the things that stands out has been Paul always praying with thanksgiving and calling us to pray with thanksgiving.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” (Phil 1:3).
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Col 1:3).
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Col 2: 6-7).
At times, we have been so focused on looking for the big things that we have overlooked the daily things God has done for us. Even a good night’s sleep is a blessing, for there are those who struggle with insomnia. Good health today is God’s protection, because we could have picked up germs and viruses. Is mealtime grace a routine habit of saying, “Thank you, Lord,” or do we genuinely say it with gratitude? There are those who are hungry, especially in lockdowns where it is difficult to get food and in countries with collapsing economies. Do we take time to thank God for giving us work; for the colleagues and customers that God puts around us? Even being able to wake up to a brand new day, to have sunshine, is God’s grace and gift to us.
Then I asked myself, “What, then, is causing me to live in my own world, missing the many blessings God has given me?” Busyness and routine; the daily goal of just wanting to complete my work and turn off my computer. To meet the expectations of my bosses, to juggle with the piles of work that seem larger than before the pandemic. The expectations of the world seem to be higher during this time. In the past, as we journeyed home from work, we had a little time to see the sun and trees, and remember God’s creation. But with working from home, more time is spent going from the computer monitor to the TV to the mobile screen. So, we live in a virtual world. Perhaps what the world expects me to do has distracted me from what God wants me to do.
So now, I’m pausing, and looking at this question again: “How have you seen God’s activity during the week?”
Let me list down a few:
- Last Sunday, we could have 100 people in church and many on Zoom attending the ordination of our elder Chow Meng. We thank God for giving us an elder after 18 years; for the improvement of the pandemic situation and for the technology that made this happen.
- We saw that in Singapore, the daily number of COVID-19 cases has fallen, and remained low last week.
- My lunch kakis at work decided to have lunch together virtually after many months to catch up with one another and hear how everyone is doing.
- My family members remain healthy, especially the elderly at home.
- We had a CG meeting to study His word together and to pray for one another.
Now, it’s your turn. List down what you seen of God’s activity during the week and reflect on what hinders you. Then, let’s put this in prayer!
– Dns Justina Ng