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?
Heaven. It’s a simple title. It’s my reading for the lockdown. A book all about heaven. Daniel, a pastor from Romania gave it to me a few weeks back. He had intended it as a gift for my colleague Bob, but as Daniel put it “Bob went there before I could give it to him”. So, he kindly passed it to me.
I believe in heaven (the new heavens & the new earth to be more exact). I believe in eternity. I believe in hell too. I believe that death is not the end.
But do I really? Do I really believe that what is coming is so much bigger and longer than the few years I have on earth? Do I really believe that what happens here is just a fraction of what is to come – that all my concerns here mean so little if I genuinely was convinced of what is coming? I’m not sure I do. Hear part of the prayer in Psalm 39:
4 ‘Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. 6 ‘Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. 7 ‘But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
This is true at any time – but especially now when so much is uncertain, the things we have relied upon have been taken away – and death seems that bit more present. The psalm says “let me know how fleeting my life is”. Oh God yes! Let me know. Let me really know. Not just an intellectual belief, but a true realisation that 80 years on earth (or whatever we get) is nothing compared to the big picture.
The psalm says “in vain we rush about, heaping up wealth”. Crikey, some of our rushing about is in vain – what are we doing? We rush about seeking praise from others, trying to perfect a sport, getting the perfect furnishings for our house, trying to please someone at work, getting the last thing in that collection….. and so on.
God, please let me grasp that the big picture is in the future. That eternity in paradise is available (not guaranteed) because of Christ. Show me how to live with this reality in my heart. Stop me rushing about in vain.
Have an encouraged day. Love Matt