You didn’t miss anything, I haven’t posted in 3 days. AND I shortened the title. I’ve been thinking. Thinking about what else I can say that hasn’t already been said. As I lay in bed last night, familiar scripture ran through my mind. Psalm 23. I thought about the meaning of these words in light of today. And I was comforted by the sense of peace that these verses bring to a trembling world. We tremble when we go out. People in our medical facilities tremble as patient after patient come in with this rampant virus. Mamas tremble as they watch their babies playing in a shut down world, and they consider the measures they will take to protect them. Fathers tremble as they think about job loss and providing for their families. The elderly tremble as the news repeatedly report that the elderly are at the highest risk. Cancer patients tremble as they know their compromised immune systems could not fight off these germs. Pastors tremble for wisdom on how to shepherd in this strange time and how to minister when we are told to social distance ourselves. Police and Fire Fighters tremble at every call they have to make as to whether they will be infected, or worse, take germs home to their families.
Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Let me stop right there for a moment. We can rest in the truth of a shepherd who will provide our needs, and while we are all disconcerted over confinement to our homes, maybe it is God “making” us lie down in green pastures. A time to be still and to rest in Him and not be fearful. Allow Him to restore your soul during this time.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
This time may feel like we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. We may not have the virus ourselves, but the affects of the spread of this virus is casting a shadow over everything in our lives. But we do not have to fear, for HE is with us. His rod and staff comfort me. The rod represents His authority and the staff represents His guidance in our lives. Knowing these two things, His authority and His guidance in our lives do comfort us. As His children, His hand is active in our lives, guiding and leading us.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
God’s provision in our lives is dependable. We don’t need to panic as many people are doing. We do, however, need to be sensitive to the needs of others and help when we can. Because we have more “free time” we can spend more time seeking Him. We can focus on His will for our lives. We can get a perspective not cluttered with the busy-ness of events, entertainment, and all the go-go-go that we experience in our everyday lives. And then we can shout as loud as we can, for ourselves and those around us “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and then I will camp out in the house of the Lord….FOREVER!” (I don’t know why I added the quotes there, because I obviously paraphrased the exact wording!)
So today. Rest beside still waters. Think about the glory, the goodness and the mercy of God. Shut down the news reports. Block out the uncertainty. Eat a good old ham sandwich…or peanut butter and jelly….and sit at the table and give thanks. Allow your cup to overflow with His goodness. Speak truth into the lives of those quarantined with you. Tell Bible stories to those kiddos that are in your house. Sing worship with them. Of course do school, too, but integrate God into everything. What an opportunity you have to wrap them in God’s Word and teach them to live a life that honors Him. Ask God for wisdom, for discernment and peace (and maybe patience!). He is faithful to give it.