Akanesi Folau writes from Tonga of her family experience during the Covid-19 lockdown.
On one afternoon, during the lock-down we were sitting down as a family for our family prayer and my eldest son was leading us into a bible verse, then we shared how it touches our lives and what message it gives us. Then there was an argument between us parents. My son intervened and spoke softly to make both sides happy in a Godly way, saying we are both right.
Covid-19 taught us parents that having to listen and give space to our children for they are the messengers for whom God always speaks through to guide and direct us at our most extreme moments.
John 14:1 “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” …Corona virus otherwise known as Covid-19 came unannounced and hit the world so bad that claimed many of lives, old and young. Everyone seems to be out of their mind trying to comprehend what the world is coming to and what form of preparedness do we need. Alas, there is nothing we can do but to be mindful and keep tuning to the words of life as John reminds us: don’t allow the circumstances to trouble you or your family. Focus in the Lord- it’s a time to look at yourselves, assess and reassessed for He is evaluating you, on your faith and your spiritual preparedness for His coming.
Most of the time I tend to look at myself as an unworthy Christian as most Sunday sermons slapped me on the face with its very strong messages. Although it weakened me to believe that this is me, but that does not turned myself away from seeking His face.
On one afternoon, during the lockdown we were sitting down as a family for our family prayer and my eldest son was leading us into a bible verse, then we share how it touches our lives and what message it gives us. This time has always been a time of revealing our ideas and what burdens us, than there was this argument between us parents. It happened unexpectedly that we forgot our prayer, but God works mysteriously for the betterment of all and spoke through our son. He intervened and spoke softly to make both sides happy in a Godly way, saying that we both are right. The enlightenment our son gave us that afternoon was so touching when he mention that we should not stop praying and calling to God. He said when we are not praying we are alright but when the devil sees us as a Godly family he will come in to destroy our happiness which this is a good sign.
In the book of James he counsels us to take twofold action: “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. “The two actions James talked about here is, 1) Clear all the filthiness in our hearts and 2) implant his words within us. As I reflect myself in the living words I always fall short of the requirements and that is why we are needed to have a self-assessment. We sometimes look at the mirror on our reflections and once we turn away we totally forgot how we look. We sometimes talk of ourselves as there is no other but the perfect person you became and the perfect life you live. We at most bible studies learned and ask God to transform us from that everyday person you are to a God fearing person through the stories you tell, the jokes you make to someone whose attitude and behavior can be looked up to by everyone that surrounds you and not just a Sunday or Bible study person.
Looking back to when the lockdown started, although it was a time of sorrow and of fear for the uncertainties of the virus but to my family it draws us nearer to the living God. It opens the mouth of our children to proclaim the goodness of God and the only Saviour. It taught us parents that having to listen and give space to our children for they are the messengers for whom God always speaks through to guide and direct us at our most extreme moments……Psalms 100:3 “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is He that hath made us, and we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture”.
Akanesi is a Senior Education Officer in the Exam and Assessment Unit of the Ministry of Education in Tonga. She has also been appointed by the Archbishop Fereimi Cama as the new Chairlady for St Andrew’s High School Board of Governors. Akanesi is the Tonga LINK for Anglican Women’s Studies Centre.