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?
In a hot and sweaty church building in Hyderabad, India I learnt a new song. I was getting ready to speak and a Swedish guy taught me a simple chorus – that he said was well known. I learnt it quickly and have sung it ever since on my own – but never with anyone else. It obviously wasn’t as well known as he said.
It is based on 3 verses in psalm 86:
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. 9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. 10 For you are great and do marvellous deeds; you alone are God.
Gosh, this psalm is fantastic. Every verse of full of GREAT STUFF. No need to worry about verse asking God to slay anyone. Lots of praise, lots of humility, lots of prayer, lots of coming to God in distress. We have hit a rich seam as we dig our way through the psalms.
As you read through, you realise that the psalm is great not because the David the writer (yes, he’s back!) is having a cheerful time, but because he is coming to God in his distress:
1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me – they have no regard for you.
But his response is to praise God for who He is and what He has done. I can’t tell you how good all the prayers in this psalm are – use them, pray them, talk to God about them – turn your distress into praise.
Oh, and he also gives a nod to his mum.
So, let this be our prayer today:
11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
PS. No-one knows who wrote the chorus based on this psalm – but its first line is “You deserve the glory, and the honour…”. You can find it online.