By Daryl Kirk

This year has been a period of deep uncertainty and a major transition for me. As I left the comfort and predictability of academia, I attempted to cut my teeth at the profession I had expended four years of my life studying for.

This anxious period of change was heightened even more by the pandemic.  While I was fortunate to have obtained a job immediately before the enforced lockdown, feelings of insecurity persisted. I have had to endure constant rejections and doubts about my capabilities. To finally be making in-roads somewhere only to be faced with another challenge seemed like one obstacle too many, an insurmountable one.   

As I reflect now, although the niggling doubts and insecurity remain, I am reminded of this verse that I constantly return to during my most challenging times:

“Isa 40:29 – 31: He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

It is truly comforting to know that when all seems hopeless, God provides the strength to carry on. This verse is a good reminder that God is a source of strength and whenever I am faint and weary (regardless of my relative youth), when I fall, I will be able to rely on God to muster the strength and courage to pick myself back up and to continue moving forward.

Indeed, it is important to get back up after falling and to continue moving as I would not want to remain stagnant where I am. Accordingly, not only am I comforted that through it all, I will have God to lean on, I am assured that God will shine His grace and glory upon me:

“Psalms 84:11: For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

As such, whatever obstacles lay ahead (and there will be many), I will have the goodness of God’s blessings to look forward to; that although it may currently seem like an ever-growing void of darkness, I cling to a hope that there eventually will be a light at the end of it all.

Further, it is also during this pandemic that I realized that I have taken the physical fellowship of brethren for granted. During the lockdown, I found myself missing the ability to socialize with the brethren in the church. It was a difficult period being away from the faces and voices that I’ve grown accustomed to seeing and hearing throughout my life.

It was consequently a relief to be able to do so through the virtual meetings we have been having for the past months. It was encouraging just to be able to see familiar faces albeit confined to a small box on a computer screen and to listen to their warm greetings while separated miles away from them.         

Through the deprivation of this privilege, only do I appreciate one of the reasons we congregate as brethren and that is to encourage and exhort one another:

“Hebrews 10:25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Truly there is no substitute for being able to physically embrace and share the warmth amongst fellow brethren. There is also no substitute for congregational singing! I am sure I speak for many that we miss being able to participate in the congregational singing and to listen to the hymns and choruses reverberate through the church building. 

Therefore, as I reflect on this period of the pandemic, I have come to appreciate and to realize that some fundamentals remain true even as uncertain times loom and we are forced to embrace a “new normal”:

that God is with us through the highs and especially during the lows; that He has plans to prosper us and has plans to give us hope and a future if we rely on Him, and at least one thing is accurate about human nature: no man is an island – we rely on the love and support of others to thrive and I have been fortunate enough to have received them from you all.