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?

A few days ago, a six year old asked me if I ever heard God calling my name. I said that I thought that there were a number of times where this has happened. He has heard his name in his head being ‘called’. So I shared the story of Samuel in the Bible (1Samuel 3) and said that it might be God calling him. He and his mum were amazed when they read the story of Samuel.

In the middle of Psalm 81, Asaph our songwriter says:

I heard an unknown voice say: (verse 5)

What an unusual line to put in a song. But then you read what the voice was saying, and it is apparent that it is God speaking.

‘I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Hear me, my people, and I will warn you – if you would only listen to me, Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. 10 I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

Asaph has heard a voice and realised that it was God. We must listen for God’s voice. He is speaking all the time. He is speaking daily. We need to listen so that His voice is not unknown, but known to us.

And the voice said that He had removed the burden from their shoulders. In this instance, God is speaking about Israel escaping from Egypt with Moses. But for us, it is what God has done in Christ – lifting the burden of sin, and what He does for us again and again throughout our lives.

I look back, and realise that God has lifted a burden. At the time all I could see and feel was the burden – and then I find that the weight has gone, and that God has done something amazing.

Listen for His voice, and ask Him to lift the burden.

And when the burden has lifted, do not do what is described in the psalm. Israel stopped praising and forgot God as soon as the problem was gone. Don’t do that. Remember Him, praise Him even more, listen to his voice even more.

God, help us to hear your voice today.

Love Matt