Long Covid: Normalcy?

Long Covid too

Right now my life feels like a runaway train, going off without me.

Only it’s going very slowly.

I’m trying to run to catch it, but I’m moving too slowly.

I’m actually crawling, not running.

Crawling. Scrabbling. Toddling.

Moving, hopefully achieving some forward motion in any way to get back on that train.

Before it’s too late.

Before it’s too late to get back to normalcy.

Normalcy is getting up in the morning, reasonably bright and getting to work.

Normalcy is playing football with the kids on a Saturday afternoon.

Normalcy is playing hide and seek with my 7 year old after school.

Normalcy is not being too tired or too breathless to sustain any of these activities.

Normalcy is not feeling set adrift.

Or should normalcy be a state of the heart?

Should it be quietness within?

Should it perhaps be a stillness inside, a certain assurance that everything will be alright?

Should my definition of normalcy be ‘trust’ ?

Trust in him who holds my future (and past and present too) in his hands.

Trust that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Trust in his purpose.




The same God of the old testament is the God of the New Testament. He’s the God of mercy. I see his mercies demonstrated over and over again. David was a mighty warrior who understood the mercy of God. He understood the fathering nature of God. You can read it in the psalms- David’s descriptions of God’s mercy and fairness and love and care.

The story of Bathsheba was described as David’s great sin. Yet David was restored in his relationship with God and still referred to as a man after God’s heart. He was the benchmark for faithful Kings who followed God’s command. Let’s look at some context for David’s great sin and the extent of God’s mercy.

“The Lord did this because David had done what pleased him and had never disobeyed any of his commands, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.”

1 Kings 15:5 GNT


“Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai the son of Maacah, Eliam the son of Ahithophel of Giloh,”

2 Samuel 23:34 AMP


“Uriah the Hittite—thirty-seven in all.”

2 Samuel 23:39 AMP


“David sent word and inquired about the woman. Someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?””

2 Samuel 11:3 AMP


“And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he was offering sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom increased continually.”

2 Samuel 15:12 AMP


“These were born to David in Jerusalem: Shimea (Shammua), Shobab, Nathan, Solomon—four by Bath-shua (Bathsheba) daughter of Ammiel (Eliam);”

1 Chronicles 3:5 AMP


So looking at the references: Uriah the Hittite was one of David’s mighty men when he became king. They strengthened and supported his kingdom. He was with David in the trenches when he was newly crowned king following his persecutions from Saul and his family. Uriah was mentioned in 1 Samuel 23, when the thirty men and up to 7 mighty warriors were listed (1 Samuel 23 vs 39). Eliam (Bathsheba’s dad) was also listed in 1 Samuel 23 as one of these mighty warriors. Uriah was (eventually) married to Bathsheba who was the daughter of Eliam who was the son of Ahithophel. So Bathsheba was Ahithophel’s granddaughter. That is why Ahithophel (David’s advisor) kept a grudge and turned against David when Absalom, David’s son, rebelled.

Looking at 1 Chronicles 11, David schemed and planned once he had set eyes on Bathsheba and slept with her. It happened at a time when they kings usually went to war but David stayed back. He got Bathsheba pregnant then devised a plan to get Uriah to take responsibility for the baby. This didn’t work, so he had him killed. Uriah a trusted and loyal soldier delivered the letter to his commander (Joab) that had his own death sentence! The letter was written by David. Yet God still restored and loved him, God (the same God of the old and New Testament) had mercy on him.

Look at another example of David understanding God’s mercy in 1 Chronicles 21. David had sinned with his disobedient census. He was given a list of three possible punishments for the nation of Israel. He understood the merciful and fathering nature of God.

“God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.” Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. This was the message: “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’” So Gad came to David and said, “These are the choices the Lord has given you. You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.””

1 Chronicles 21:7-12 NLT


““I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into human hands.””

1 Chronicles 21:13 NLT


“So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 people died as a result. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But just as the angel was preparing to destroy it, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”

1 Chronicles 21:14-15 NLT


“David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And when David prayed, the Lord answered him by sending fire from heaven to burn up the offering on the altar. Then the Lord spoke to the angel, who put the sword back into its sheath.”

1 Chronicles 21:26-27 NLT


David recognised that the mercy of God would prevail over judgement. Even in the Old Testament God was a God of mercy.

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

Matthew 5:7 NIV


“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,”

Ephesians 2:4 NIV


“He saved us because of his mercy, not because of good deeds we did to be right with God. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit.”

Titus 3:5 ICB


Trust and be trustworthy

When we are serving God’s people, our aim should not be to profit from our service. This is especially important when it may be to the detriment of those we serve. We should plough all of the resources into serving people and meeting the needs of those we serve, and of the poor.

“Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land.”

Nehemiah 5:14-16 NIV

We who are God’s people should be trustworthy with no corruption in us, and we must not be negligent in our work.

“At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.”

Daniel 6:4 NIV

Some principles of service for us to adopt are demonstrated further in the verses below:

“But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.””

2 Kings 22:7 NIV


“Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: “Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.”

2 Kings 22:9 NIV

The workers, supervisors of the carpenters, and builders, of the temple were known for their integrity. We who are building God’s temple today, leaders, workers, should be known for our integrity, for honesty in our dealings.

Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®
Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Moses: slave, prince, fugitive, freedom fighter, revolutionary leader.

Moses was born into slavery. He was born into a Hebrew family living in Egypt. At that time the Israelites (as they were called) had practically no rights. They had so few rights that an Egyptian man could walk into their home and take away their baby boy to be thrown into the Nile river- by decree of the king (Pharaoh)!

Moses Dad was called Amram. Moses’ mom was called Jochebed. When she had Moses, she decided he was too beautiful and special to be wasted on Nile crocodile cuisine. She decided to risk her life and her family’s by hiding baby Moses. She already had two children, Aaron her son aged 3, and Miriam the resourceful big sister, but baby Moses was no less precious. When Moses was three months old, Jochebed realised she could no longer hide him. Someone could easily hear him cry, or worse still, spy him in her house.

She put him in a special baby ark basket made from reeds and covered with tar so it could float. She placed it among the tall grass on the edge of the Nile river, while big sis’ Miriam kept watch. Soon enough, Princess Pharaoh came for her bath. Naturally she spotted the ark in the grass. When she looked inside, she saw this gorgeous baby crying and her heart went out to him.

Clever Miriam was on hand to point Princess Pharaoh in the direction of a good nanny (baby nurse). So Moses’ Mom, Jochebed got paid to be his nanny for the first few years of his life. When he was old enough to move to the palace, the Pharaoh Princess adopted him as her own son. That is how Moses, who was born a slave, became a prince. He would be the only Hebrew boy in his age-group to have escaped being tossed into the river at birth. All his friends at school would either be Egyptian or if they were Hebrew and lucky enough to be at school, probably older or maybe younger than him.

Young Moses grew up seeing his fellow Israelites oppressed although he himself had a privileged life as a royal prince. His heart burned with the injustices against his people, the Israelites. So one day when he saw an Egyptian beating up an Israelite man, he killed the Egyptian aggressor. Unfortunately his heroic act was neither lauded by the Israelites nor forgiven by his adopted Grandfather the Pharaoh. So poor Moses, now a fugitive, had to run away from his home country Egypt.

He eventually ended up in the Midianite country. Through his act of kindness in defending some women trying to get water for their father’s sheep, he found a place to live. The owner of the sheep and father to the female shepherds was called Jethro. He was the Midianite priest. He was so impressed with Moses that he let him marry one of his daughters who was called Zipporah. Now Moses had a home, a family and a job but his heart still pulled him towards his people the Hebrews who were suffering as slaves in Egypt. Moses called his first son Gershom, which means ‘foreigner’.

Eventually the Pharaoh who was after Moses died and a new king was appointed in Egypt. Moses would no longer be a wanted man. His people, the Hebrews were having a very hard time as slaves in Egypt. They were beaten and worked very hard with little or no rewards. They prayed to God to save them from slavery and God heard them. God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. It was a strange sight for a bush to be on fire but not burn up. God spoke to Moses and told him to go and rescue his people from the king of Egypt. Moses was having none of it. ‘I’m not important enough to go and speak with the King. Plus, you know I stutter a bit, I’m definitely not eloquent’ he said.

God reassured Moses that he would be with him to help him speak. After all God was the one who made Moses, including his mouth and tongue! God also revealed his name to Moses, Yahweh, which means ‘God lives always and he is with us’. Still Moses refused. God was angry that Moses wouldn’t listen, but he decided to send Aaron along with Moses to be his mouthpiece. Finally Moses agreed to go and confront Pharaoh, armed with his walking stick which God had shown him how to turn into a snake! He also had another miraculous sign of changing his hand to diseased and back again to normal, to show everyone. Just in case that wasn’t convincing enough, he now knew how to turn water into blood.

Moses went to Pharaoh as instructed and the dramatic events unfolded. Moses was 80 years old and Aaron was 83 when they spoke to the king. Pharaoh the king was not interested in listening to Moses and Aaron or the God who sent them. He remained as proud and obstinate as ever through sign after sign performed by Moses. ‘A stick turning into a snake? Why my magicians can do that too. Never mind that your snake swallowed all of ours. So you turned the Nile river to blood and caused frogs to come up? Look at my magicians doing similar things!’. On the third plague, Moses caused gnats to cover the land of Egypt. The magicians conceded defeat. ‘This is the finger of God’ they said. Pharaoh wasn’t moved.

Moses commanded the fourth plague, flies everywhere. This time the flies only went to the places the Egyptians lived. The region of Goshen within Egypt where the Israelites lived was infestation free. Just as with the other plagues, the king would ask Moses to pray to remove the awful plague, promising to free the Israelites. Each time he would renege on his promises as soon as the plague disappeared. There were deaths of the Egyptian animals, boils on their skin, deadly hailstorms, with terrifying thunder, devastating hail and continuous lightning! Next a swarm of locusts ate up all the farm produce in the land. Then a tangible darkness, thick enough to feel, spread over the land for three days.

The slave-master nation of Egypt had been decimated, first thorough ill- health, then through its economic destruction and ultimately through an attack on the protagonists’ mental health. They were receiving the punishment for their continued resistance to God’s commands and their incessant oppression of his people. The very last plague was the death of all the firstborn sons in Egypt. The Israelite children would be spared by marking their door posts with the blood of a lamb. If you remember, not 80 years before, the Egyptians were killing all the baby boys born to the Israelites. Finally Pharaoh bowed to the superior power of the Almighty God. He let his people the Israelites leave Egypt. They left Egypt with every member of their families, their animals and also gifts of gold, silver and precious clothing articles from their former masters. It was like being paid in arrears for the centuries of slavery they and their ancestors had endured from the Egyptians.

The perfect life


I haven’t got it all together.

I’m not anywhere near perfect.

I haven’t got ‘a perfect life, doing perfect things, living in a perfect house with a perfect family, in my perfect job’!

I’m not a Christian because I’ve got it altogether.

I am a Christian.

I admit I need a saviour: Christ.

I know that all the good things I have, all the great things I have achieved have been through Christ.

My non-perfect but still great life is not as a result of my own self, my own efforts but the grace of God.

I’m here because I’ve always had access to this God who loves me, imperfect.

Not perfect.

Not infallible.

But loved.

That’s me.


Why should I be perfect when I can rely on the perfect God?

Why do I need to have a perfect life when I can live off him who led a perfect life?

Why stay awake at night worrying when he who never sleeps looks out for me?

Why not love others when I am thoroughly loved by him, unconditionally and without judgement?

Why not be kind to others when he always forgives me, always gives me yet another chance..?

Why should I not tell others about this perfect gift?

Why wait another day, alone when he who is big enough to fill all your emptiness continues to knock on your door?

You are loved.

Imperfections and all.

Warts and scars.


Mistakes and all.

You are not a mistake.

Every hair on your head is known and loved.

Every non-hair on your head is accounted for.

Every breath you take is a deliberate gift.

Every step is seen.

Every tear is felt.

Every day is accounted for.

Every moment can be a step closer to freedom.

A life without fear.

The certainty that you are loved,



Unreservedly loved.

Freedom to let go of past pains,

Battles won and lost,

Glories faded.

Victories hard-earned and successes clung to.

Scars, still painful,


Yearnings unfulfilled.

Wants met,

Needs unmet.

Freedom to slip off the reigns to a greater expertise.

Freedom to rest in the love of him who made you.

The engineer of your intricate design.

The author of your yet unwritten, fully unfinished story.

Freedom to love knowing you’re loved.


Be loved.

“We love because God first loved us.”

1 John 4:19 ICB


Brain fog, post-Covid

Brain fog, post-Covid

Slippery fish swimming in and out

Just out of reach when you grab at them.

Use your net you might get some back when you go fishing for your thoughts.

Words suddenly disappear, familiar ones suddenly out of reach.

What’s that thing called again, the one when you do this, and that and get a result?

Songs you know suddenly have missing bits,

Thank God for google and sound hound.

You feel unsure, was that the right term?

Your language once fluent now sometimes feels foreign,

Like a second or third language.

Haltingly, slowly pronounce those words as you think about what you really mean to say.

Your tongue is heavy, your expression drab as you stifle yet another yawn.

Worse is when you muddle words and don’t realise, until your laughing teenage son sets you right.

Brain fog, like baby brain or just overtired? Some invisible process in your physiology?

Embarrassment aside, here’s your sole preoccupation,

You hope it doesn’t get you in trouble at work.

“I look up to the hills. But where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. He made heaven and earth.”

Psalms 121:1-2 ICB


Good Job again

Good Job again

One of the things I’ve learned from reading the book of Job is that you can ask God why. If you’re his child, his faithful and trusted servant like Job was, you can ask him your questions. You may not expect the answer you get. You may not understand why. In all likelihood the answer will actually be you having a greater understanding of God’s greatness, his sovereignty, his kindness and justice, his mercy. The truth is God doesn’t get cross with you for asking why. God expects you to be honest with him. He takes your questions and draws you into a deeper relationship with him. Because that is ultimately what matters most, your walk with him.

““Job, listen to this. Stop and notice God’s miracles.”

Job 37:14 ICB


God himself commended Job for his uprightness. Job feared God and he had a relationship with him. But he cultivated a closeness with God that became apparent only after his trials, and perhaps actually only as a result of his challenges. Job was tested and Job came out closer to his Master. He went from just being God-fearing to becoming God-friendly. In the end he didn’t just survive the terrible times but he thrived and became several times richer, happier, more fulfilled and spiritually more mature. He had such a phenomenal restoration of his fortunes that it could only have been a divine intervention. I suspect when we meet Job one day in heaven we can ask him, ‘any regrets?’ And his answer will be a resolute ‘No! No regrets!’

Elihu was a younger friend of Job’s. He wasn’t one of the three older friends(Eliphaz, Zophar and Bildad) who were blaming Job for his troubles but not giving him honest answers. Elihu said:

“So listen to me, you who can understand. God All-Powerful can never do wrong! It is impossible for God to do evil.”

Job 34:10 ICB


“Truly God will never do wrong! God All-Powerful will never twist what is right. No one chose God to rule over the earth. No one put him in charge of the whole world.”

Job 34:12-13 ICB


“God is not better to princes than other people. He is not better to rich people than poor people. This is because he made them all with his own hands.”

Job 34:19 ICB


““God is powerful, but he does not hate people. He is powerful and sure of what he wants to do.”

Job 36:5 ICB


Most importantly God does hear our cries and our questioning and God does answer. He helps us see clearly. He puts things in perspective so we can see that God’s ways are bigger than we can comprehend. His ways are just and his view is beyond any stretch of our imagination. God addresses Job directly in chapter 38 and he calls Job by name in chapter 39. He asks Job if he knows anything about the foundations of the earth. He tells him of the beginning of creation. He tells him about the stars and the angels. He tells him about the sea, storms, clouds and climate that he made. He tells him about the animals, and his caring for them. He reminds Job of the wonders of creation.

“Then the Lord answered Job from the storm. He said: “Who is this that makes my purpose unclear by saying things that are not true?

Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”

Job 38:1-2, 4 ICB


“The Lord said to Job: “Will the person who argues with God All-Powerful correct him? Let the person who accuses God answer him!””

Job 40:1-2 ICB


““Job, are you the one who gives the horse his strength? Or do you put a flowing mane on his neck?”

Job 39:19 ICB


“Then the Lord spoke to Job from the storm: “Be strong, like a man. I will ask you questions. And you must answer me. Would you say that I am unfair? Would you blame me to make yourself look right? Are you as strong as God? And can your voice thunder like his?”

Job 40:6-9 ICB


“No one has ever given me anything that I must pay back. Everything under heaven belongs to me.”

Job 41:11 ICB


“Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things. No plan of yours can be ruined. You asked, ‘Who is this that made my purpose unclear by saying things that are not true?’ Surely I talked about things I did not understand. I spoke of things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. I will ask you questions. And you must answer me.’ My ears had heard of you before. But now my eyes have seen you.”

Job 42:1-5 ICB


Job concludes by saying ‘my ears had heard of you before. But now my eyes have seen you.’ After his encounter with God, God scolded the three friends who had spent so much time accusing Job. Job’s family and friends then came to him and comforted and helped him. Job became so much richer than ever before and he had a new family. His daughters were known for their beauty and they received an inheritance with their seven brothers – they were influential. Job lived for another 140 years after his challenges. He lived to see his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren!

The truth is that when all is said and done, our relationship with God is what really matters. Circumstances come and go, change is a certainty. We can’t necessarily control events but we can chose to walk with God in and through everything. God is our father, he’s our friend, he’s our Lord and he has saved us. His plans for us are for good and not for evil. God really loves us. Job learnt to see him. We can too.

“We say they are happy because they were able to do this. You have heard about Job’s patience. You know that after all his trouble, the Lord helped him. This shows that the Lord is full of mercy and is kind.”

James 5:11 ICB