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One year on from COVID-19

As I write this month’s entry, we’ve just had a national minute’s silence to remember those people who have died in the COVID-19 pandemic. When we pause and take time to reflect, it’s incredible how dramatically our lives have changed over this past year and how radically different the world now looks. I’ve been reading back through my personal journal entries from March 2020, and on this very day last year I wrote about how the UK death toll was around 350 people at that time. None of us really could have begun to imagine how almost 150,000 people in the UK alone would lose their lives to the pandemic over the next 12 months. Or all the countless other people who have experienced such a devastating impact on their health and wellbeing as a result of COVID.

It has been an absolutely momentous year of change. These words from my journal entry on 20th March 2020 really sum up how I was feeling as we set out on this journey: “This past week has been the most crazy of my entire life. It feels like trying to stand on shifting sand, and as soon as I get a firm foothold everything starts to sink and shift again. Literally EVERYTHING is changing around me, and it’s very, very difficult to catch my breath or to get a proper sense of perspective on the situation”.

Its all too easy to forget that sense of growing panic and confusion: the first time I queued outside Tesco’s for 45 minutes; the rows of empty supermarket shelves; wearing a mask out in public for the very first time; desperately trying to get to grips with video editing software, and so on. We’ve all got so many stories of change and fear and uncertainty. At times it has felt very much like standing on shifting or sinking sand.

Yet in the midst of all this turbulence, we can still hold on to the incredible truth that our everlasting God will never change: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). I pray that you and I would be able to discover the reality of that promise as we continue to move through this pandemic.

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