“There were times when I felt like giving up, but COVID-19 taught me to press on,” says ER doctor
Joey Chen // March 2, 2020, 11:20 pm
Image source: Agence France-Presse
As a doctor in one of our local hospital’s emergency department, my greatest fear is being an asymptomatic carrier who will unknowingly spread the virus to my aged loved ones whose immunity levels are lower, or to my friends and community.
Can any “good” come out of COVID-19?
I would like to share three precious lessons I have learnt, which will go to show that this crisis can be beautiful in some way.
LESSON 1: HIS SOVEREIGNTY
COVID-19 may be disruptive, painful, unrelenting, exhausting… but I know with utmost confidence that God is in control.
As a Christian, this season has challenged me to put my trust in my Heavenly Father who is both Almighty and All-loving.
- He is Almighty because He conquered death (Acts 2:24), raised the dead to life (John 11:43-44), and even the winds and the waves obey Him (Matthew 8:27).
- He is all-loving because sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of mankind (Romans 8:32).
This gives me peace as I commute to work daily, having the strength and reassurance that in spite of this seemingly chaos, God can use COVID-19 to teach me to trust Him more, or reach out to His wandering children and lead them back to Him.
I am reminded of the story of Joseph in the Bible, which revealed God’s greater hand over all the disorder. Out of jealously, Joseph’s brothers sold him off to Egypt. Little did they know that it would be this same brother who would save their entire family from the famine.
When Joseph finally revealed his identity to his brothers, he told them:
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20 ESV)
Nothing catches God off guard. If He permits calamities, He will see us through, and something good will come out of this for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
LESSON 2: MY MATURITY
COVID-19 has also taught me to persevere and press on. My biggest struggle at work is having to put on our personal protective equipment (PPE). Having to wear this for long hours makes it very uncomfortable and difficult to function well under stressful conditions.
There were a couple times when I really felt like giving up because it was really draining: the tightly fitted N95 mask was painfully suffocating and muffled our voices, making communication difficult; the goggles were obstructing my vision whenever they fogged up and often gave me a splitting headache from prolonged use; and most of the time, I would be sweating beneath the gown and gloves.
But I am reminded of the skills and opportunities that God has given me to love and serve His people, and there is no better time to use this gift now. His love for me overflows and empowers me to press on.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV)
I can look on this trying experience joyfully because I know and trust that my Heavenly Father is directing these for my good. And in enduring these, I am growing my perseverance and steadfastness into one that is complete and mature!
LESSON 3: OUR MORTALITY
COVID-19 has also revealed the finite and helpless nature of mankind. We might be able to delay death, but we can never escape its eventual clutches.
Hence, COVID-19 reminds me of man’s need for a Saviour in whom we can trust! Even as I face the uncertain future of possible infection, isolation and quarantine, the Lord remains my faithful shepherd.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 ESV)
May I hold on to these promises dearly as I continue to face the days ahead, looking with joy and hope to a future when there will be no tears in my eyes (Revelation 21:4).
God remains sovereign through it all. Sometimes, we just need to take a step back to consider the lessons He is teaching us day by day and appreciate them.
It is so heartening to see how different ones of us are playing our part in society, uniting together and supporting one another. These include:
- Healthcare personnel putting aside their fears to treat and care for patients.
- Administrative staff supporting the frontline workers and looking out for their welfare.
- Drivers signing up for the GrabCare service to ferry healthcare workers to and fro.
- Volunteers delivering food to those who are quarantined.
- Police officers doing contact tracing.
- Organisations collecting masks and various useful supplies for the elderly.
- Laboratories testing the swabs and researching about this virus…
The list goes on and is definitely not exhaustive! I am thankful for the selflessness of Singaporeans. From the donations and sponsors from different organisations, to the food (and love) that fill us to fight on. These small gestures of love and support reveal the beauty of unity.
I am also greatly encouraged to see my fellow comrades coming in to work daily with renewed strength, sometimes even with smiles beneath our masks.
With all this in mind, I will continue to carry out my responsibilities faithfully to my best abilities, trusting that all things are in the hands of my Almighty, all-knowing and all-loving Heavenly Father.
Thank you Jesus for dying on the Cross for our sins, so that whoever believes in you will have everlasting life (John 3:16)!
The writer’s name has been changed for confidentiality.
THINK + TALK
- What good” have you seen since COVID-19 hit?
- When trials come, is it easy for you to trust in God’s sovereignty and what He is doing in your life?
- Do you fear death?