The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
Day 1: Psalm 1
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. 2 Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night. 3 They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. All they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
My capacity to lose my cool when a minor inconvenience happens is far too large. If I think I’ve lost my wallet or WhatsApp isn’t working, or the cricket has been rained off – I can find my tolerance for others going. I become intensely focussed on my problem – and my kindness goes. I stop thinking about how I can bless someone else and think about the consequences of my personal problem. So often under pressure, this is what leaves us. We stop being thankful to God, and we stop being gracious to others.
Psalm 1 begins by telling us not to listen to the voices of some around us who are not giving God much attention. But instead to DELIGHT in the law of the Lord. Delight is a strong word – it’s what we do with a chocolate, with a lover, with our favourite meal, with our most fascinating hobby – we delight in them. The words of God can be a transforming delight to us – powerful, inspiring and calling us away from the voices of all around us – calling us to something and someone higher – God Himself. And this delight leads to blessing – like a tree planted by a stream – never withering. The blessing can continue even in the midst of chaos, uncertainty and pain – it’s not freedom from any of this – it’s living within a troubled world with a life that has be grasped by the Father who loves, who knows and who leads.
Delight yourself in everything God says – grab a bible and read.
Love to you,
Matt Frost (senior pastor at CBC)