The Psalms are full of cries to God: cries for relief from distress, deliverance from enemies, and for God to act in a world that seems out of control. I am thankful that throughout the Psalms and other books like Job and Lamentations, God encourages us to cry out to him and share our hearts with him. During this season of upheaval and grief from the COVID-19 pandemic, I frequently find myself returning to one particular cry in Psalm 74:9:
We are given no signs from God;
no prophets are left,
and none of us knows how long this will be.
This is my cry, and perhaps yours as well, as we look at the world around us. How long will I be out of work? How long will I be working from home while trying to educate and entertain my children? How long will I be alone day after day in this small apartment? How long will I feel afraid of this virus, of my neighbors, of public places? How long will I have to watch numbers rise around the globe, of people infected, of deaths? How long will I have to wait until I can travel and see my family again? How long God, how long?
Psalm 74 however, does not end there, and does not leave us without hope. Verses 12-17 continue:
But God is my King from long ago;
he brings salvation on the earth.
It was you who split open the sea by your power;
you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
It was you who opened up springs and streams;
you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
The day is yours, and yours also the night;
you established the sun and moon.
It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
you made both summer and winter. (emphasis mine)
We are quickly reminded that although we do not know how long this will last, we do know God, and we know that he is King. We know that he created day and night, sun and moon, he set boundaries on the earth, and established time and seasons. Nothing is beyond his power or control.
We may not know how long, but He does. We may not know where our next paycheck will come from, when we will see our loved ones, or when we will see this pandemic end. But we know that God has not rejected us or abandoned us. God knew we would face this season of life, even before we were born. He who opened up springs and streams will once again open up the world. He who set the boundaries of the earth still holds those boundaries, and He still holds us. He holds you.
If you feel like the psalmist today, if you feel rejected (vs. 1) or overwhelmed by the destruction (vs. 3) around you, lean in to God’s promises. His promise to us is not for an easy life nor a comfortable one, but that he will be with us so that we are never alone. Jesus’ name itself reminds us of that: Immanuel, God with us. He might not be giving us signs or prophets right now, but God is our King, and it is he who brings salvation on the earth.
Today's blog was written by Clare Messink, one of our PCC members in charge of the Youth & Children's committee.