Scripture: Psalm 116
Key verse: (1) “I love the LORD, because he hears my voice and my supplications.”
Reflection: There are times when it is natural to wonder if God hears our prayers – especially when life is interrupted by bad news like a devastating diagnosis or sudden loss. Stressful news throws us off balance. Often our first response is to wish it away. Now that pandemic fatigue is here we are experiencing interruption. There is bad news and reality has set in. Wishing it will go away soon isn’t working. Turning to faith has become a healing balm during the disruption of everything familiar and cherished that has to be postponed or cancelled. The resources of our faith are deep and wide. Hopefully, cultivation of faith in the good times has equipped us for faith in the bad times. It is hard to imagine the sheer number of families who are grieving the untimely death of a loved one due to the COVID 19 virus. The isolation and the pain are inconceivable to most of us. I am reminded every day how close the virus is to you and me. Summer has lured us into hoping that we can enjoy our usual summer routine without any consequences, but reality tells us otherwise. We just want this pandemic to be over. One day it will be. In the meantime, we lift up our voices in prayer to our God who listens.
Last week I received a note from a former colleague of mine who has a health condition that won’t ever go away – there is no cure – and he has learned to live with it. He wrote with such peace and acceptance as he described the joy he was experiencing sitting outside in his garden. Even in the midst of daily physical struggle he is able to be thankful for God’s salvation and live his life enjoying family and friends. When I pray for him and his family, I am reminded of today’s words from the psalmist: “even though I was brought low, the LORD saved me”. My friend is thankful because God has never left his side through the challenges of his illness. Even though there is no cure – he is healed in the depths of his being. God can do the same thing for us when we are brought low by the challenges of life. God can save us from despair and doubt when we travel through situations that scare us, like this pandemic. God will give us courage in the midst of fear and patience in the midst of restlessness.
There may be something besides COVID 19 that is creating distress in your life right now. You may feel God is very far away and you are alone. Remember how precious your life is to God and those who love you. Turn to God and remember God’s compassion for you. Be patient. God hears you and in time the answers and peace will come. Knowing this will give you the ability to hold on and, in time, give thanks.
Prayer: Gracious God, life surprises us with things we don’t want. There are times when we feel lost and afraid. Remind us you are near. Help us to pray for one another. And, if there is someone we need to reach out to today, remind us to make that phone call or send that text. May we strengthen each other on this journey that your love might be visible to all. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].