Wednesday, April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Series: #11—Our past sufferings should make us sympathetic

19 Pastoral Thoughts On COVID-19

“Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:19).

One reason why God allows us to go through trials is so that we can sympathise with those who later go through similar difficulties. That way we can help them from the depth of our hearts. We comfort them with the same comfort that God comforted us with.

That was how it was with the people of Israel. One lesson that God wanted them to learn was that of lovingly sympathising with non-Israelites who would be in their country because they once were in a foreign country and were ill-treated while they were there.

This is an important principle for us as Africans during this COVID-19 global crisis. Notice that the countries that are worst affected by this pandemic are the developed countries of the world. Most of Africa has been largely spared. We are praying that it remains this way.

We have had our fair share of astronomical calamities. AIDS, Ebola, cholera, malaria, and genocides have been largely an African problem. We have known what it means to have thousands of people in our nations being buried within a few days. Our tear ducts have dried due to too much weeping and wailing. Other nations of the world have rallied to our help.

Now it is our turn. Our past suffering should make us sympathetic to those who are in the eye of the COVID-19 storm. We may not be able to send them financial support, but we have something more potent to give them—our ardent prayers. Let us sympathetically pray for the world!

“Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
—Joseph M Scriven (1819–1886)