Somebody said it is a war for the mind. In my experience it may be very true.
I am nobody special. I am just one of the 167,047,817 human beings that have contracted Covid-19 up to now, and by God’s grace I survived it. I was supposed to travel to Cameroon on the 11th of May and before boarding, as a normal routine, show a negative Covid-19 test. I am used to this and didn’t give it much thought, until I received my results on Monday morning, showing that I tested positive. I most probably contracted it in the weeks before, as I slept very poorly and was very tired.
But it was only from Monday night the 10th of May and the week that followed that I learned to know the reality of Covid-19. I could not sleep at all and was plagued all through the nights with nightmares. Senseless thoughts flashed over and over through my mind, making me feel like a zombie, utterly empty and so tired that I wished I could die. There is a kind of malaria, where you at first fear that you will die, until the horror of the sickness takes hold of you, and you then fear that you may not die! This is how I felt. The sickness took every possible grain of energy out of me, and left me horrible, with pointless thoughts going around and around in never-ending circles with no meaning. And worst of all, it was as if I could not get one meaningful prayer through to Jesus. I felt God-forsaken, with every cell in my body feeling dead, dry and horrible!
This carried on for about a week. On the 16th of May I could not bear it any longer. In my despair I wrote to my spiritual leaders, to ask if there possibly is a messenger of God, “an angel, an interpreter, one in a thousand who can proclaim to me my error and deliver my from the pit and show me the way I must go?” (Job.33:23-24.) And with great compassion they interceded for me in prayer. At first there was just a dim knowledge in my bewildered mind, that many of my dear and precious friends and even small children prayed for me! But in me everything was still so dead, so dry and so horrible.
I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE!!!!
Then the thought penetrated into my mind: It is YOU that have to decide what you want to believe! You can’t just let your dead, dry, dreadful and horrible feelings take the lead and decide for you, you have to decide for yourself with your will and mind what you believe! I then decided to believe! Right against all my dead and dry and horrible feelings! And I decided to sing it out, to tell others what I believe. I wrote to several: ”I choose to believe! I choose to believe in the Almighty God, He who makes the dead alive and calls the things that do not exist as if they do! I believe Him who raised our dear Lord Jesus from the dead! This virus shall no longer have any power or dominion over me and steer my life and thoughts! The prayers of the saints, the prayers of the righteous have great power, as it is written in James! And righteous men of God have prayed for me, why shall I doubt? So, I choose to believe! I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE!!!! I I’m a believer! I am standing up in faith and will walk in faith till my last breath!” (This faith that entered my heart and mind was indeed a gift from God, a lifeline He had thrown to me from heaven!) Immediately rest and strength came into my mind, and my thoughts became clear and calm.
Up to this point my prayer (and faith) was: Dear Jesus, save me and heal me, restore me, bring back life in me! Although I felt power coming into my body since I decided to believe and to proclaim what I believe, I still could not sleep well and felt very, very tired. Then some thoughts penetrated my mind, sober, scary, well-calculated thoughts: Will you be prepared to serve Jesus for the rest of your life, with your whole life, your whole being, even if your body remains in this horrible state? I was fully aware what was asked, and had tasted the reality of this horrible state for more than a week. Then I decided, I made a calculated choice, no matter how my feelings protested, and I said to Jesus: “Yes!” Even if I have to remain in this state for the rest of my life, I will serve You, no matter how horrible and tired I feel! And if You consider using me, please show me Your will, and give me the strength and wisdom and power to do whatever You expect me to do, for in myself there is nothing.
After this prayer, life came back into my mind and body. I was no longer a zombie staring into nothingness. And the opposite happened. Jesus overwhelmed me with heavenly, good and positive thoughts. Everything around me became so beautiful, the people, the plants, everything. I could see into the noble hearts of those around me, and I feel so rich and blessed! God restored me and overwhelmed me with a goodness beyond what I can describe with words.
WHY GOD GAVE JESUS ALL HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY
Then Jesus started showing me my own absolute nothingness, that I am absolutely nothing without Him, if God doesn’t give me His words, His Spirit and His breath. I believe this was an answer to my desperate cry, for God to send me an angel, an interpreter, to show me my duty (Job 33:23,24). I have never seen the emptiness in man, in myself, so clearly portrayed. I realise that without the Spirit of Jesus, without His thoughts, without His breath, I am less than the dust of the earth, a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes if He turns His face from me. (I actually have no words to describe it). This impression, this “X-ray” of my utter incompetence and nothingness without Him, I want to burn in my heart and mind forever, till my last breath, so that whenever the least thought that I (by myself) am something would rise from my corrupt human nature, it can be destroyed right there on the spot with this knowledge from God engraved in me!
I then saw the mindset of Jesus, His thought-life and the depths of what He said about Himself: “I can of Myself do nothing!” (John5:30.) And what He said in John 5:19 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” In Philippians 2, it is written so clearly that He emptied Himself, making Himself of no reputation. Think who He was, and how God used Him to heal the sick and raise the dead (all the books in the world cannot contain all the good God has done through Him). But never He came as this expert, or reputational healer! To see the depths of His humility and His being-nothing-in-Himself left me with an understanding that I never had before!
And then He took the form of a bondservant, a simple servant of no significance, with no “air” and smell of “if you would only know who I am” around Him, only to serve His fellowman according to God’s will and the power God supplied. And, being found in the appearance of a man (maybe when He was pushed aside and treated as worthless and nothing by people who thought they were competent in themselves), He did not protest, but He humbled Himself even further, yes, to the death on the cross. Everything in Him that wanted to exalt itself was nullified and put to death, was destroyed on the cross.
It is not strange at all that the Father gave Him a Name above all names in the universe! Who else on earth was so faithful that he could be entrusted with God’s will and plans? And therefore, God also gave Him all His authority and power and dominion and insight and wisdom! There is nobody in the whole universe who could take better care of God’s interests, His plans and purposes. And it is so safe with all authority and power and wisdom in the hands of Jesus. And that God gave Him as the Head of His Church, His body on earth, makes it so secure and safe. The forces of hell will never prevail against Him! To understand this, makes His Church the safest place on earth! And we can rest assured that Jesus NEVER will give any power and wisdom to those who seek their own, but He will richly give it to those who in lowliness of mind only want to do His will and carry out His commands, those who truly care for His interests! And under such leading His Church will grow and flourish and develop! And all those who long for this heavenly kingdom are allowed to drink of this Spirit freely and grow up to Jesus themselves!
MY CHOICE FOR LIFE
I am so glad that Jesus allowed this illness to come over me, so that He could confine me to a space where He could speak to me and reveal to me His mindset. And this is the life I have chosen for the rest of my existence on earth, for as long as Jesus gives me grace to live and is willing to work His will in my life. So, my prayer is to serve Jesus, in whatever state He deems fit for me, in whatever place He has prepared, whoever He brings on my way. I have no right, no demand, I only want to serve like the Son of Man, who has not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. I long for this life I have seen in Him! Like Him, I want to help and serve my fellowman, young and old, with all the strength and thoughts and wisdom I received from my dear Lord and Master, all the days of my life.