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?
If. The most popular poem in Britain. It begins with this:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If. If. If you can.
Can I keep my head? Can I keep my peace and calm when it’s all gone wrong? Can I keep my integrity and kindness with others when the circumstances around me are falling apart?
My friend Duncan was the pastor of a church in southern Uganda. They also ran an orphanage. Stuff went wrong. It went wrong all the time. Things broke, people died, sickness came, money ran out, thieves took things. Duncan kept smiling and kept encouraging. It was an inspiration. How did he do it? How can we do it? Psalm 46 shows us the way:
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging
There is only one way to keep your head – to remain calm – to know peace – to keep loving others. It is not to rely on the circumstances or on other people’s behaviour. God is our refuge & strength – even if the earth gives way. There is only one route to keeping our heads – grab hold of God, hold onto God, keep looking at and listening to God. It is the only way.
The Psalm finishes with a promise that God will stop the turmoil in the end – and therefore we can and should be still, shut up, be calm.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
The stuff around you may be chaos. The stuff in the world may be chaos. But, and it’s a big but – God is working, He will sort things in the end, He is our fortress – and therefore you and I can simply be still.
If you can keep your head….. Yes you can.
May you know God’s strength and peace today.