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?
What’s the key to happiness? If there is one thing that the current crisis is showing us, it’s the fragility of many of the things that we thought might make us happy – money, hobbies, excitements, success at work, luxury – as we are thrown back on ourselves and our relationships.
Psalm 16, if you read it quickly, can seem to suggest that a life with God means success & happiness. If you follow God, then it’s all going to work out well and you’ll be lucky. Here’s the whole psalm. Read it slowly and see if that’s what it really says:
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’ 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, ‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.’
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. 5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
There are promises here that could sound like “everything’s gonna be good”. It says that my lot is secure; the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance; I shall not be shaken, my body will rest secure; eternal pleasures…. Sounds good, huh?
But (and it’s a big but) all of these promises come in the context of one thing: holding onto God. It says: my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing; Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; I keep my eyes always on the Lord;
The key is not that we come to God and He makes everything sort out well. It’s that when we come to Him and keep our eyes fixed on Him, we get His perspective, which changes our thinking – and allows us to see the things around us so differently. He does answer prayers, and He does bless us, but if we talk to Him and listen to Him – we see the world differently and a happiness born of trust and gratitude can grow – even in the midst of difficulty.
Have a blessed day. Love in Him, Matt