Thursday, August 13, 2020


About Me

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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa. 
To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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Matthew 4: 4 
"Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

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Apr 16

Written by: Andries
Thursday, April 16, 2020 4:45:39 AM  RssIcon

The anxiety we experience in reaction to Covid-19, individually and as communities, is something we most probably never before experienced in our lives.
It is a completely new journey.
We need to be concerned about our mental health and the emotional health of our loved ones and of the members of our faith communities.
 
The danger lights flicker when we notice how people start believing fake news, conspiracy theories and irrational “dangers”. Too many give in to feelings of helplessness, misery and are actually grieving about the “good old days before the virus started its war against humanity”. These are bold reminders that we need to attend to our emotional and mental health.
 
Yes, Covid-19 is real and dangerous and, yes, we need to follow the precautions our elders advise (instruct?) us to follow. This is what Christian wisdom asks us to do. Yes, it is different from other known viruses and we do not know how it will all work out or end.
But we need to remain grounded and at peace.
And we know as God’s people that being in the hand of God, under the rule, protection and strength of the risen Christ - is also real and a true bastion against anxiously giving in to fears and uncertainties.
 
So, first of all, we need to ground ourselves – when uncertainty threatens our peace and our comfort through our Christ centred faith.
 
Start by breathing deeply. Do it before you read any further.
Breathe in deeply (through your nose), “expand your upper body”, and only then breathe out (through your mouth). Affirm that you are okay (because most of us are), and keep breathing deeply.
 
Then turn your attention to the Lord Jesus Christ - Emmanuel, God with us. He is right here, loves you and promised to be with you always as the One who has all authority in heaven and earth!
Pray a simple prayer while breathing deeply in this way:
Breathing in pray, for example: “Thank you Lord for being with me” and
“I put my trust in you, faithful Lord”, when breathing out.
Continue repeating your simple, childlike prayers UNTIL you feel better and more grounded.
 
Allow yourself to give thanks for one thing at a time.
Keep it simple and specific!
See the good things around that you can touch, feel, taste, smell and enjoy. Remember the privilege of being able to take care of yourself – taking a warm shower - and even more basic hygiene routines. Give thanks for being so privileged!
Give thanks for children and grand children, family and friends who pray for you and love you. 
Give thanks for a sense of humour and for the contentment of trusting in the everlasting arm of you loving Saviour! 
Just give thanks for ONE thing at a time, contemplating the grace and love of our Lord these privileges remind you of.
Then pray earnestly for those who are NOT as privileged as you are – who are sick, hungry, cold during these hard times.
 
Take time to think about the precious life  —  the costly gift God gave YOU in and through his beloved Son, his death, resurrection and his Holy Spirit – the gift that provides for you in so many ways while in lock down - and beyond.
Make sure to send away from you the obsessions and impossibilities of the moment – in order to rejoice in the privilege and joy that IS available to you – and continuously thank our Lord who made every good thing possible!!
 
The apostle Paul writes:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:4-9). 

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