I like to watch ants on their trail. As part of my entertainment, I will sometimes disrupt the trail to see what happens. Suddenly, each ant will frantically try to find its way again.
2020 is an extraordinary year when our trail gets totally disrupted, not just on a personal level, but on a global scale. You can see frantic humans trying to grapple with life in the New Normal, job insecurity, safety measures etc.
My life had always been secure in a bubble protected by a stable job. COVID-19 hammered in the fact that nothing in life can ever offer true security. I make my living from working on “live” events. When the coronavirus started spreading to different countries, our clients postponed and eventually cancelled all their projects for 2020. My company started axing contract staff from February. Anxiety was what I felt when this mysterious illness hit our shores.
In these tumultuous times, God’s Word provided daily assurance. “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:25); “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1); “The peace of God . . . guard your hearts and your minds” (Philippians 4:7).
Our generation may be living in an unprecedented pandemic, yet it does not have to stop us from living. During the circuit breaker, I started an Instagram comic, learnt new software, attempted adventurous recipes and spent quality time with loved ones.
If there is anything I learnt, it’s the truth that I am not walking blindly in an invisible trail. Rather, God is with us on this trail.
Xinxuan’s Instagram comic
The author’s attempt at cooking Swedish meatballs
That is what the name “Emmanuel” is all about. It is not just a name we remember during Christmas; He is Emmanuel—God with us—every day in this pandemic. God is not detached from us, sitting in His ivory tower, oblivious to our suffering, but one who owned this suffering in His flesh.