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?
1 Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ 3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4 I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7 Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8 From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. (Psalm 3)
Living in a relatively safe country means that I have rarely prayed specifically for protection from God. I was threatened by a skinhead holding an axe and carrying a can of Special Brew – and then I really did pray for protection – but I also prayed for the situation to turn around, and later became friends with the guy and we sat outside his caravan eating a meal and I prayed for him.
We now find ourselves in a situation where there is a new, invisible threat around us. A threat to our health, and a threat to what we think of as normal. This is the time to grab hold of these psalms full of prayers for protection. King David (the bible guy) wrote this song when he was running from the threat of his son Absalom. He cried out to God and describes Him in an amazing way ” you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high“.
This is a prayer for now. We are not surrounded by human enemies – but by another threat to our health (to add to all the others that we already have) and by so much anxiety.
The promise is that God hears from His holy mountain, and He answers – and one of the evidences of His answer is that we will “lie down and sleep in peace”. God, so many of us need this – the gift of sleep. Let’s pray this psalm today – for ourselves, for our friends and for the world. Hold on to the One who is a shield, your glory, and the one who lifts your head.
Love in Him, Matt Frost