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?
I really don’t like soap operas. Eastenders, Coronation Street, Neighbours, The Archers – I hate them. Why? Not just the poor acting and the endless family feuds – but mostly because they never end. They go on and on. Things are never resolved. There is never a happy ending. You don’t know if it all works out, because tomorrow night it may all go wrong. I love to get the end of the story, to have things tied up.
Therefore, Psalm 88 is a problem for me. Why? Because you don’t know the outcome. Something is wrong – but does it get resolved?
1 Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. 3 I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. 4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. 5 I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.
Things are tough for our songwriter. He’s near the end, He is crying out. As you read through he describes being near death, having no friends, in darkness, full of grief. It’s not going well.
But, and it’s a big but – he keeps returning to God with cries for help.
13 But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
At times, when we are low, when are at the end of our rope, when we feel the despair – all we can do is to cry out to God. Can you help? Show me your mercy? God, I am in the pit. Come and save me.
And tomorrow, we may still be in the pit. The outcome, the change hasn’t come yet. Then we need to come and cry out to God again. We need to do what our writer does – keep holding on despite all of the pain. Knowing that God sees and hears. But let’s keep doing this before we know how things will change and get sorted out. Be like our Psalm writer – don’t give up.
May you know God’s strength today.