June 9, 2021
Pandemics used to be a little more common than they are now. We can and should praise God that they are unusual. We are ready to get back to life, right? I understand the bursting of the dam of pent-up energy now that restrictions are being lifted and the disease appears to be fading out, but wait, just a minute. Covid-19 forced many of us to face the reality of death and we do not tend to do that very well. But death is real, and while Covid-19 may move into the rearview mirror, a life of wisdom recognizes and prepares for the brevity of this life. So, before we all get back to life as it was, let’s stop and reflect, and in fact, let’s use Psalm 116 to guide our reflection. Psalm 116 is a song that was sung by the community of the faithful in response to the rescue of a person from a harrowing circumstance. Not only is the one rescued, publicly praising God, but he does so “in the courts of the house of the LORD” (v.19) in order that others may know how gracious and faithful God has been.
Do you remember last year when you first heard about Covid and then, for the first time, someone that you knew was diagnosed with it? Do you remember how you prayed? Do you remember our 24-hour a day, 6 days a week prayer chain? Do you remember watching the rise in cases and wondering what was lurking in the air or on a surface? Do you remember when the hospitals were running out of rooms and ventilators? Do you remember when the entire country ran out of toilet paper and bread flour? It wasn’t that long ago. So, think with me…
Has the Lord heard your prayers and pleas for mercy? (v.1) Has the Lord inclined his ear to you? (v.2) You should declare your love to him (v.1) and be encouraged to pray even more (v.2). Have you felt surrounded by death, fearing its pangs, suffering distress and anguish? You should declare the grace, righteousness, and mercy of God (v.5).
What is the “normal” that life should get back to? For the Psalmist, that normal is the soul’s return to rest because the LORD has dealt bountifully with him (v.7). Beloved, this is the point I really want to press upon you. The Lord has brought us through a harrowing season, but not in order for us to forget about Him. Let’s thank God that our souls can return to more of a state of rest BECAUSE the Lord has dealt bountifully with us.
This pandemic may be fading, but a normal life is filled with pitfalls and struggles. While we can be grateful that so many survived this season, wisdom teaches us to number our days. But, know this. When we come to the end of our days, we have this calm assurance. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (v.15) Rest, rejoice, and carry on.
Grace and peace,
Sunday’s Text: 2 Peter 2:10b-16