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?

Yesterday I watched part of the 2019 World Cup Cricket final. Yes, I know it’s sad – but there is no live cricket going on apart from my son and I playing in the garden. For those of you unfamiliar with the match – it was incredible. Now I know that England won. I can repeat to you the last few overs – I have watched the moment when Jos Buttler took of the bails to run out Martin Guptil again and again. But it was still tense. I remember when the actual final happened – it finished during an evening service and I had to leave the service (Phil Trainer was preaching) to watch the last few balls in the kitchen at CBC.

I wanted England to win, but I didn’t know they would. Now I know they won and can look back and celebrate. Now take a look at Psalm 28, it starts with a prayer – and ends with an answer to that prayer.

To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy,  and with my song I praise him.

The psalm starts with a prayer. A deep heartfelt cry for mercy, for God’s help. Help me or I go down to the pit. It’s OK to pray prayers like this. It’s OK to pray them right now in the midst of the virus, the lockdown, the sickness.

But look at the end of the psalm. Verse 6 says that God heard my cry for mercy. Then the declaration that the Lord is my strength and my shield – and my heart leaps for joy.

It’s easy to praise and rejoice when we know the end of the story. Can we praise and rejoice when the game is still going on, before we know the outcome, when we are still crying for mercy? God’s promise is that one way or another, He will hear us, He will work, our prayers are not falling on deaf ears.

Hold on, keep praying, keep crying for mercy.

Have a blessed day. Love Matt