It’s now a familiar feeling.

Deflated, sad, disappointed, upset, anxious, depressed even. These are the kinds of emotions people in Melbourne are experiencing, and plenty more as well. Up and down on the COVID rollercoaster we go as the government gives us a few little freedoms before locking us down when fresh outbreaks appear. This way of living doesn’t do much good for one’s health and wellbeing. The perpetual uncertainty of when the next lockdown might be is doing a number on our ‘nerves’, to use the old vernacular.

The perpetual uncertainty of when the next lockdown might be is doing a number on our ‘nerves’.

I’m not sure about you but I’ve had all the feels. The frustration, the sadness, the anxiety, and the general I-don’t-give-a-stuff. I know I’m not the only one. In fact, I was speaking with six others on a Zoom chat the other day and five of them mentioned they were all dealing with mental health issues in some capacity. Anecdotally, this is a significant percentage.

However, as I plug away at doing the things I need to do, whether it’s family life or church life, I keep reminding myself that the Lord is the Lord of the lockdown. It sounds like a cliché, I know. But in these days when there is a general despondency across the whole community, and when so many individuals and families are dealing with such hardship, it is important for us to remind ourselves that there is God who is over this. He is still sovereign and true, and as we work through these lockdowns we can still have hope because he is Lord.

There is God who is over this. He is still sovereign and true

Perhaps this is just me trying to keep hold of the hope that I need right now!

Hope is of course not gone, particularly when you compare our situation to others across the world. I certainly live in a healthy place, and a wealthy place. I have everything I need. I am grateful for this. Compared to other parts of the world we are doing so well that even having the ability to be in lockdown shows we’re very much in a place of privilege. Yet this doesn’t negate the feelings, emotions, and realities that a lockdown brings. It’s hard, it’s painful, and it’s frustrating. But there is hope—not only because of the prospects of our life here in Melbourne, but also because of the greater hope we have in our Lord.

I have been reading through the book of Genesis these past couple of weeks and in chapter 15 there is a key reminder of the promises God gives Abram. He has made a covenant with Abram: that he will be father to multitudes from his own seed. However, Abram continues to want confirmation of this promise and to be reminded of it again (It had already been promised in chapter 12). We are often like Abram, needing to be reminded of what God has promised us. And in his promises through his Scriptures he has told us that he is with us: that he is listening to us, that he cares for us and has compassion toward us, that he has been—and will continue to be—kind and gracious toward us.

This compassionate and caring God displays this to us through Jesus and the commitment of love he has toward his people by the cross. In the cross we find the reflection of God’s incredible compassion, care, kindness, and grace towards his creation. When we come to the Lord and are in a mess because the lockdown has been extended, or the numbers aren’t looking great, then we can know that he is still with us and still cares. His faithfulness and compassion are what we are to trust and hope in, because that is what will sustain us to live lives worthy of his name, even in lockdown.

First published at joncoombs.com