by Nicholas Guiang
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” - Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
You are not alone. I know this has been a common theme across these devotionals, but under these unprecedented times, it is a sentence that needs to be repeated often. Many people across our community and the world are not lucky enough to be quarantined with family or friends but are shut in by themselves in small apartments, homes, or dorm rooms.
Isolation creates struggles with one’s mental health and relationships. It consumes and overwhelms us. But a part of us that often takes a blow during pandemics and chaotic times like these is our personal faith. We are away from a community that bonds, heals and pushes us and that often leaves a gaping hole in our lives.
Being away from one’s faith community, away from the church and away from your religious leaders quickly takes its toll. I, now more than ever, have struggled to see God or my faith in my day to day life. As I continue with the same old quarantine routine it becomes harder to see the bright light that I often associate with his presence. Lately, I have even began to question, “Where has God gone?” However, as I watched the sometimes funny online church service video this weekend, thank you Darla the donkey, I am reminded that God is still with us.
God presents himself subtly. It might be through a zoom call with family members where laughs are shared for the first time in days, or from a conversation with a dining hall worker who continues to work through this pandemic, but, God is there. He has not forsaken us, and as we continue through Holy Week remember that. It is easy for Jesus’s last words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” to creep into our minds, but even in Jesus’ worst moment and this current pandemic, God is with us, we might just have to look a little harder.
Be with us today
For we are all isolated in our own right.
Guide us with your righteous hand
Toward the light that makes our days brighter.
As we look for you in these dark times
Help us come together, stronger.
Heal those who are hurting,
And lift those who have fallen.
Help us remember that we are not alone in this,
for you have not forsaken us.
Nicholas Guiang is 20 years old - the youngest of 4 sons to Sixto Guiang and Jennifer Mehmel. Nicholas is currently attending Northwestern “Online” University in Evanston, Illinois where he is studying to be a journalist (Don’t worry, there are plenty of jobs in that field right now). He is currently in Evanston isolated with his friends in the fraternity house practicing social distancing. On days when he is not quarantined, he enjoys a good game of soccer or whiffle ball in the park. During the summer you will most likely find him eating a freshly cooked Brat with his family on their deck. Nicholas is most excited for the next time he is allowed basic human contact.