I’ve thought about writing this post for some time, but just could never “find time” to sit down and do it. Perhaps it wasn’t not having time (for we are trying to shelter in), but more of a dread. If I write about it, it seems to feel more real — its not that I’m in denial. I know we are in a weird season. Perhaps its just that I don’t know what to say.
I wanted to say something profound. Something that would give you a reason to pause and contemplate; something to give you hope. Alas, words fail me. Thankfully, when God’s Word never disappoints.
This afternoon I was rereading a favorite Psalm, and I could relate to the Psalmist, perhaps David, in a new way. Psalm 42 begins with a song that is familiar to many: “As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs for You, O God.”
What strikes me this afternoon is that the psalmist writes this during a time of exile, a time when he could no longer worship in the tabernacle with others. His soul was in despair. He was overwhelmed and discouraged; he remembered worshipping with others in God’s house with joy and thanksgiving.
I don’t know about you but I miss worshipping together in person during this time. I am incredibly grateful for technology (the Psalmist was unable to have Zoom Church or Drive-In Church), but there is just something about being in the presence of other believers.
He goes on to ask a question we all tend to ask during difficult times. “Why?” We have more questions than answers when it comes to COVID-19, but this has not surprised the Lord. He sees our situation and He cares. Note verses 5 & 11. The Psalmist said, “Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him.” His circumstances have not changed, but his perspective has. When he shifts his focus to God, he is filled with hope and instead of spewing despair he sings praise.
We have to keep our focus on the Who, and not the what in this season. Watching the news is important because it often comes with warnings and guidelines to protect ourselves, but if we spend more time watching the news that we do seeking the Lord, our hearts will be filled with despair.
Remember the words of verse 8, “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me.” He is with us both day and night. Even in isolation, in quarantine, even those dying in hospitals are not alone. Our God is with us.
Dr. Natalie Ford is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at TMU.Return to Blog Archive