Coronavirus, COVID-19, and social distancing. Words previously unknown to many of us have become the center of many of our conversations. We stand in unprecedented times with lots of fear. It is as if we live each day in the dark not even wanting to imagine what is around the corner yet longing for life as we once knew it to return.
As I have lived through times of unknown, the Psalms have been a source of comfort and encouragement to me. This prayer book is full of people expressing the full depth of their emotions – the good, the bad, and the ugly – to a God who cares and remains present and sovereign over even the darkest moments. In Psalm 46:10-11, we find great encouragement for moments like the ones we find ourselves in:“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Social distancing, the clearing of schedules, and quarantine have forced a moment of stillness upon all of us. In this moment of stillness and looking forward into the dark, we can cling to the following three truths:
1. God Is Sovereign. God is not surprised by anything. Though we may think life is spinning out of control, we have a God who remains sovereignly in control. In Psalm 46, God is presented as the “Lord of hosts,” an image of a commander coming with his armies. God has all power, and we are invited to come inside and rest in the fortress of His protection.
2. Relationships Matter. Being still forces us to realize what really matters. Social distancing causes us to long for the relationships and community we once took for granted. In Psalm 46, God is praised, and His name is known. One of the ways God is exalted through times of darkness is when the church clings to each other and remembers God’s faithfulness. We have been blessed with relationships and community as one of our lifelines. We have the opportunity in the stillness to pick up the phone or turn on the video chat to connect with those who matter most.
3. God Is Our Sufficiency. Our life interruption has separated us from the many things we often use to define us. We are no longer able to depend on our possessions, jobs, power, or status to define who we are. These things do not matter nearly as much as they did a few weeks ago. When all of these things are stripped away, we are reminded where the true source of our sufficiency should lie – our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is there in every moment and when all other things fade away. As we continue to walk into whatever season is next, let us remember the faithfulness and sufficiency of God and the power of relationships so we will be different people when we emerge from the stillness.
Writer, speaker, and minister