From a wuhan virus to COVID_19, wearing masks, heightened alert, stay home stay safe, circuit breaker, gatherings limited to two, five, eight ten, vaccinations, boosters, Delta variant, Omicron variant and, we are finally here, the Endemic. During this pandemic, like most people, I was continuing to work hard, from home or onsite, juggling with all the commitments and keeping up with new restrictions every now and then. Life goes on as the days go by, even as death rate increases–taken away by means of COVID_19 or other causes, natural disasters strike, wars break out, economy downturn, I am just one of the 7.9 billions on earth, who were carried through the waves.
The restrictions in place to keep COVID_19 in control are finally loosening in Singapore as we ride into the wave of the Omicron and its sub-variants. Many were infected but most recovered well enough. Joining many enthusiasts, dying for a holiday out of our little island, I renewed my long expired passport, boarded the Quantum of the Sea with a few of my dearest spiritual family members, for a voyage to nowhere. It was my first, with a usually motion-sickly body, I actually didn’t expect much but prayed for the best to at least not cause trouble for the other travel mates.
We booked the lowest valued stateroom, with supposedly no view, no windows, no space, just a decent bed for two & a bathroom. However, before we were checked in, we realised our room was changed & to our surprise, we were moved two notches up. Not only was there a view, we had a balcony that we can get out to enjoy some warmth from the sun and breeze from the winds sweeping gently across the sea. There was also a couch, enough for us to host another two. It was a short 4D/3N on board, a God-given break for me with much of His favor, mercy and grace.
I opened my eyes just right before dawn of day two, stepped out at our balcony and was reminded of the beautiful song, Turn your eyes upon Jesus, song inspired by an artist who was not related to the composer in any way but she caught the beauty of God’s grace in the work the artist left behind. I cannot help but let myself be immersed by the presence of God through His creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters…” (Genesis 1). The warm breeze swept over my feet and face, I could almost taste the melting of salt from the sea at the back of my throat as I inhaled the air that God had first breathed. Setting my eyes on the expanse, watching how the greater light is taking over to rule the day. God saw that it was good and it was good.
Choosing to turn my eyes upon Jesus, enable me to have a taste of the new heaven and earth. The Hope that we choose again and again to grab hold on as we struggle to live this life on earth we are given, believing the best is yet to come because Jesus is coming again, didn’t seem so far-fetched anymore. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
I pray that not just my eyes but also my heart could be opened, to the beauty of God’s creation, not just when I am on a holiday but every moment I am given. Turning my eyes upon Jesus will become my everyday life, marveling at the sight of the wondorous works of His hands, soaking in His presence everywhere I go. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.“
Singing this song, used to seem to me like we have to give up so much of us when we choose God. We tend to see earthly possession as ours and as both good and bad stuff we just wanted to grab hold of, regardless. It pained us to give it away. Seeing this new Light, turning my eyes upon Jesus, once again, gives me new lenses. It is not just to let go but let Him and in the light of His glory and grace, no earthly possession, good and bad, can outshine His wonderful face.
(Featured image: From balcony of stateroom on Quantum of the Seas; 5 April 2022)
His beautiful & relentless love makes a soul relentlessly beautiful.