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?
Someone asked me last week what things that make me angry. This was a tough one, because as I’m ‘practically perfect in every way’ like Mary Poppins.
Anxiety. Anxiety gets me cross. This is normally because I have a naive idea that everything is going to be OK. Like the song says “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” But also because I tend to notice anxiety in other people, and ignore it in myself.
So, as a result, I love Psalm 37. It has an embarassment of riches. I could write for many days on this one. Here’s a few verses:
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6 he will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil. 9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
The Psalm says over and over again: DON’T FRET. I don’t use the word fret very often – but I do it. I fret. I worry about things. But the Psalm says simply – don’t do it. Easier said than done. Why shouldn’t I worry? The song ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ (Bobby McFerrin) is lovely – but he doesn’t tell us how not to worry. Psalm 37 is more helpful. Here’s a list of what it says:
- Trust in the Lord & do good
- Dwell in the land
- Enjoy safe pasture
- Trust in Him
- Be still before the Lord
- Don’t fret about what is going on with other people, God will sort it out in the end
- Hope in the Lord
Fretting (worrying) leads to evil. That’s what the psalm says – and I agree. Worry leads to emotional pain, overwork, damaged relationships, drinking, illness – and it achieves very little. As the dutch Christian Corrie Ten Boom said: “Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
So, you may be worried. We may all be worried. Let’s take the words of this Psalm as medicine, choose to trust in the Lord, and press on with doing good.
Grace & peace to you. Love Matt