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?
Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
6 Many, Lord, are asking, ‘Who will bring us prosperity?’ Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
I hate waiting – I know I often don’t have any choice, but I hate it! I want things sorted now, I want to know what’s happening, I want bad things to finish, and good things to start. Come on! What are we waiting for?
But, tough. I have no option – waiting is part of being human – and it’s certainly part of seeking to walk with God. Isaiah (in the bible) tells us that “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64). Did you hear that? Those who WAIT for him. AAAARRRRGH! I have to wait.
Today’s Psalm, which is often used as an evening prayer, contains the waiting. It starts with a prayer for relief from distress – for mercy from God. You and I are praying this right now – for relief for ourselves, for relief for our world – and so we should be. But the psalm ends with a confident assertion that God will answer, He will bring relief, there will be joy – and in the meantime, we can lie down and sleep in peace. We need to hear this – not just now in the midst of coronavirus – but all the time. God has heard your cry for relief – He will answer – joy will come. Hold on, and have a sleep in the meantime.
God bless and much love, Matt