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Antidote to Despair


The past few months have been tough. First there was drought. Water restrictions bit hard as lawns and gardens turned brown and farmers despaired. Then came bushfires. Week after week of smoke, haze, and destruction coupled with loss of property and loss of life. Then came the rains –a mercy to be sure, but why so much at one time? Rivers flooded, roofs leaked, trees fell, power went out. And now – for goodness sakes – COVID-19 dominates everyone’s thoughts. And the cherry on top, as if we needed more: there’s no toilet paper in the shops. Can it get any worse?

I find myself waking up feeling heavy and going to bed feeling heavy, worrying about tomorrow.

As yet there is no vaccine for COVID-19. But there is, I am convinced, an antidote to the prevailing sense of despair that hangs over our city. Inoculation occurs through the intentional renewal of our minds as we set our hearts on things above.

The Apostle Paul gave these instructions: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!... Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things…. And the God of peace will be with you’ (Philippians 4:4-9).

In my life there are so many things that are true and praiseworthy and lovely. I have much to give thanks for and even more to look forward to. Times of stress test our faith. ‘On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand’.