Experiencing Jesus’ love while battling COVID-19
“I strongly felt the presence of Jesus with me during my long days in self-isolation, after I fell ill with COVID-19. I felt His care for me as if I were sleeping in His arms,” Presenter Karen Khoury recently shared her story on SAT-7 KIDS, to encourage viewers and counter a message many encounter – that contracting the virus is cause of shame.
A normal week for Karen includes presenting the live weekly show Bible Heroes, which sees many children call in live to share their Bible knowledge. But after contracting the coronavirus, Karen had to remain quarantined at home for four weeks while she recovered.
“It was a difficult time for me, because I was alone,” she says on the show after returning to work. “No-one could be around me from my family. I experienced what it means to be completely alone. But I wasn’t lonely. Jesus was with me all the time.”
The Presenter explains afterwards that she aimed in sharing her testimony to help children overcome their fear of the virus. This can often be made worse by the stigma that can surround testing positive for COVID-19 in countries including Lebanon, where Karen is based, and Egypt, where many SAT-7 KIDS viewers live.
“I wanted the children to know that it’s not a taboo, or a cause of shame, to contract the coronavirus,” she explains. “Many people who get it don’t want to say, for fear of being labeled. Some people treat you differently when they know. They avoid you even after you recover. I wanted to give the message that even if I fell ill, it was nothing to be ashamed of – and God used this time to renew my faith.”
For the first two weeks of quarantine, Karen explains, she divided her time between reading the Bible, praying, and listening to sermons and worship music, especially the UpperRoom song “Wonderful, Beautiful, Glorious”.
“Because of the pains, I couldn’t sleep at night, and so I was awake for many hours. The Lord gave me the wisdom to use the time well. When I read the Bible, I felt the words were alive, and speaking right to me,” she says.
Karen encouraged viewers to turn to God at times of pain. “The easiest thing to do when one is ill is to feel self-pity or fear, but not seek the Lord. In times of difficulty we must run to the Lord, not run away from Him. He will help us,” she says.