A reflection from Tearfund’s Tarryn Pegna
Coronavirus, conflict, disaster, climate change… the list goes on. Distress wrapped up in different names. It all got me thinking about a group of people long ago, escaping through a wilderness, who started to be killed by venomous snakes. Fear. Panic. Loss. And then God told the people to look up. (Numbers 21)
‘So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.’ (Numbers 21:9)
A foreshadowing of Jesus in the time of Moses. Death defeated. Hope.
Of course we don’t live unaffected by what happens in this world. Just because we know Jesus doesn’t mean we don’t face disease or hardship. But in the midst of a world that seems full of fear, panic and loss – not just of lives but of livelihoods and of hope – let us look up.
As I read messages from friends, colleagues and online school communities, as well as posts on social media and the news in general, I realised I am not the only one feeling a little overwhelmed (or a lot) at the scale of what is going on in our world. The worry of what the future holds for us and for all those we care about, both close to home and across the planet.
The Bible has some very practical advice for us:
‘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.’ (Philippians 4:8)