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?
2019 in my church was a challenging year. I had a number of conversations with people in the church who were pleased to see 2019 gone, and were looking forward with hope to 2020. Then some bloke in China picks up a bat – and now look. 2020 has not turned out as expected – and we are longing for things to return to normal. But, is there ever a normal? We like the idea of a life where pretty much everything is sorted – but as I go on I realise that this is so rarely the case. There is always something not ‘right’, there is always something uncertain – and there is often something painful. The consequence of living in a fallen world, for every human being, is that life is never fully sorted. So, how can we live? Well check our Psalm 31:
21 Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. 22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. 23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
God showed David (the writer of this psalm) the “wonders of his love” where? IN A BESIEGED CITY! Do you hear that? He experienced the wonders of the love of God when surrounded, in fear of death and with the shadow of starvation. How? It’s not that David wasn’t worried – look at verse 22 – he says he was alarmed and thought he was abandoned. But, and it’s a big but – the Lord heard his cry for mercy. Somehow it is possible to hear God when things are not OK. In fact when things are awful. I want to say yes, yes, yes to this. It is often when things are at their most difficult that we can encounter the depths of who God is and His love.
I have a sign on my shelf, given to me recently that simply says “God comes when all is dark.” Amen.
See how the psalm finishes: be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Be strong and take heart my friends. Hope in the Lord.
Much love, Matt