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?
Is chaos reigning? Is the coronavirus ruling the day? Are world leaders running the show? Is it all a mess? It can feel like it. Particularly under the onslaught of news stories, scarey videos on your social media – and the anxiety in our own mind.
People from the Ancient Near East (Old Testment times) saw the world as a place where a battle was raging – a battle of chaos, with forces and monsters that sought to destroy people, society and order. You can see this idea throughout the Old Testament (those of you into Bible study can look up Leviathan). But, and it’s a big but, the God of Israel was the one god who could overcome this chaos, the forces and these monsters. See what Psalm 18 has to say (Psalm 18 is long – I recommend reading the whole thing – it’s very good):
1 I love you, Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. 8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him – the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
We need reminding that God is not powerless, not phased and is at work. There are forces ranged against us, and against the people of the earth – but please remember, and please pray knowing that God is more powerful than all of this, He hasn’t wandered off – and He is working now. And one day, He is going to gather it all up and make the earth brand new.
Be encouraged friends. Love, Matt