I was at church on March 14 when my dad called me. He was ready to book me a ticket to return home. I could hear the love and fear in his voice that caused a great tension in my heart for my earthly father wanted me to come home, but my heavenly Father wanted me to remain in Medellín. I knew I was going to be obedient to my heavenly Father, but I didn’t want to do so without honouring my earthly father. Confident in my decision, I told my dad that I would call him when I was back at my apartment. I wanted to handle our conversation with care.
When my parents and I spoke that night, I told them I was staying because I felt God wanted me to. My mother surprisingly yielded to my decision. This was weird for me because my mother has always been the worrywart out of the two. However, having been baptized a little over a year ago, I know her peace is the fruit of her growing relationship with the Lord.
My dad on the other hand spoke out of great love and great fear. He shared daunting projections about COVID-19, gave reasonable alternatives to me remaining in Colombia, and asked important questions that tested my rationality.
After speaking with my parents, I had to meet with the Lord. Thanks to my dad, I was more aware of my fears. I brought my heart to God and prayed for my dad’s as well. As I prayed, I realized I wanted so badly to give my dad peace, but God reminded me that that wasn’t my job; if I decided to go home so that my dad would have peace, that peace wouldn’t be the real deal. It would be the counterfeit version that depends on circumstances as opposed to God’s peace that comes from knowing, trusting, and walking in relationship with Him.
That night, I thanked the Lord for my family; for their love, for the growth I was seeing in my mother, for the fact that I could entrust my family to Him and ask Him to give us all His peace to do His will.
The next day after church, I called my parents. Without hesitation, my dad apologized for our conversation the night before, explaining that he had spoken out of love and shared that he didn’t want to imagine anything happening to me while I was a continent away. Forgiveness was easy to give. I shared what I had been praying for him and we encouraged each other in the Lord.
Our God is Lord, even over COVID-19, so if He is allowing this pandemic to continue, we can trust that He will use it for our good (Romans 8:28). That does not make believers immune to COVID-19 but it does mean that our loving God can use even sickness to reveal Himself and sanctify His people, and that even in death, we can rejoice that there will be life eternal (John 17:3). If our God is willing to give His Son, His body, for our salvation, why do we doubt His love and give into fear amidst this pandemic? Our God is trustworthy and through the cross, He has displayed His love and His power, purchasing our peace (John 16:33).
May we remember Jesus’ words and cling to Him: “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)