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?
Have you ever written a song? In my previous church, one of our worship & music leaders wrote a song. We sang it a few times in our services, and he recorded it. That was it. But it has stuck with me – even though it was nearly 20 years ago. That’s the power of a song. It’s why we should sing the psalms as well as read them.
His song was based on 3 verses in Psalm 94. Every time I read it, I start singing the song. These are the verses:
17 Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. 18 When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. 19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
They are wonderful verses. A cry of thanks and desperation. A cry of gratitude for having been saved. What makes them more wonderful is when you read the rest of the psalm – and you realise quite how difficult the songwriter’s situation, and Israel’s situation, was.
3 How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant?4 They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. 5 They crush your people, Lord; they oppress your inheritance. 6 They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless. 7 They say, The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.’
The nation is under siege. This is not just an inconvenience – this is terror. But, and it’s a big but – the writer remembers that it is God’s help, God’s consolation, God’s unfailing love that has seen them through in the past – and will again.
Once again, it may not be that everything is fixed this side of eternity – but to know God’s presence, his love and His promise is enough to lift our anxiety and keep us from slipping.
May you know all this today.