Monday, March 16, 2020

Standing Together in Times of Uncertainty

I've been posting videos for several days to support, educate, and encourage my community, family, friends, and colleagues during this time of uncertainty. During this COVID-19 pandemic that will touch every inch of our nation and world, I choose to first reach up to our God, who is sovereign, for wisdom and strength. Thus grounding my heart and mind in truth and hope, I then reach out to others in solidarity and love.

I led a Lenten Day retreat titled Trusting God in the Deep on March 7, 2020, which ended up being just days before the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our community. As the days go on, I see how this time we spent in God's Word together helped prepare me (and I pray all who participated!) for the urgency and surreal nature of this moment. Yes, I choose to trust God in the deep, in the wilderness, in the midst of this pandemic that is separating us physically while, perhaps, bringing us closer to one another in heart and mind, in longing and hope. 

I have chosen Psalm 19 as my focus for prayer and worship throughout this COVID-19 crisis. This psalm reminds me of God's eternal nature and sovereignty over all of creation. When everything we know and trust and rely upon crumbles, our Creator remains, day after day, ever in charge of every detail. Ever-present in our dark moments. Right next to us, even there, in the deep. 

Yes! Our God is the Hope that lasts.

When we are anxious, I am so grateful to know we are not alone. Trusting God during these moments infuses the mind and soul with hope, with faith, with the assurance that regardless of circumstances, the One who holds the entire world in His hands ... is sovereign, and He is good. He loves us and brings good out of evil, and order from chaos.

Perhaps God wants to use these last few weeks of Lent to bring families together in the safety and warmth of our homes to refresh our spiritual lives with a different type of worship. Perhaps God wants to deepen our reliance on Him as the very sustenance for our souls. Perhaps God wants us to be still before Him that we may experience and know that He is God our God (Psalm 46:10). 

Surely, God will work through this crisis in countless ways. I, for one, embrace His sovereignty and am deeply grateful for His great mercy. Let us pray for one another, for our nation and our world. He holds us even now.

Trusting God in the Deep,

Dr. Mari (Amaryllis)
Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 
 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 

For more encouragement, read Trust: A Pathway to Peace (a timely message for such a time as this!).

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