In my daily walks over the past week, I have come across a resplendent kingfisher waiting patiently for its morning catch. I have beheld the turquoise waters of a bay and the changing colors of a lovely dawn.
With each walk and undeserved sighting, it has given me a brief “wow” respite from the woes of our fallen world.
With the COVID19 woes, the daily numbers – of new infections, climbing fatalities, global spread, contagion fear, ignorant racism and frightening impotence to overcome this latest health scare – can be numbing.
Everywhere we go, we hear endless chatter about the shortages of masks and sanitizers. We laugh nervously at the empty supermarket shelves from foolish panic buying of instant noodles and toilet rolls. We read with some concern of who has possibly been infected and are we part of the contact tracing trail.
After awhile, we must all acknowledge there is only that much woeful news we can cope with before we die – not from a virus – but the viral spread of gloom.
I read Psalm 100 today and was joyfully infected with the wonder of God: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”
(Psalms 100:1-2 ESV).
What reason does he have for such a joyful disposition to life in a fallen world?
As one of the chosen people of God in the Old Testament, he declares: “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
The psalmist pronounces God’s antidote to our very virulent and viral human fears when we face our bouts of gloom and doom which can slowly but surely choke us to death.
God’s antidote is not the reckless promise of blanket immunity for believers, as is very fashionable now, by misquoting and misusing Psalm 91 like a Biblical talisman, Christian amulet or “good luck” charm against disease and death in a fallen world.
His assurance is not rooted simplistically in the instantaneous answers or needed actions of God that we so crave but in the invincible love of God we so sorely need: ““For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
(Psalms 100:5 ).
It’s always comforting to know that someone is thinking about us. The good news of the Bible is that it declares we are the undeserved recipients of God’s best thoughts shown in his steadfast love for us.
It is God’s steadfast love that has finally given us his inseparable love in Jesus suffering, dying, rising and saving us from the woes of this world to the wonders of eternal life (Romans 8:28-39).
Yesterday, my wife and I went to pray for a new convert. She is a lovely lady who is sadly stricken with an aggressive cancer. Her siblings and extended family and her closest friends gathered at a beautiful park.
It was for her to say her “last” goodbyes and take some final photos with her loved ones. Yet she was a picture of undeniable peace and serenity in the midst of the understandable sniffles they tried to hide from her.
Why? By God’s grace, she has humbly come to believe in Jesus as her Saviour and Lord. She increasing knows her Good Shepherd, who came back from the dead, has not come to grant us temporary immunity from disease but eternal security from sin and death.
That is how we can truly journey from the woes of life without God to the “wow” of eternal life with God. Try Jesus. And we might face and overcome COVID19 – and all other earthly dangers – more rightly and victoriously.
In times like these – indeed at all times – don’t go looking for answers or actions. Go looking for Jesus’ inseparable love which cures our true woes. Amen.