“Be Still, and know I am God.”
Today is the first day of Spring. As I was walking to the church, I saw green grass in the yard, Daffordils in full bloom. I heard birds chirping sounding to me a herald of the new season. I felt a warm and gentle breeze, and I breathed a deep breath to the bottom of my belly, refreshing myself and my mind after anxious days of watching the pandemic of the Corona Virus grow and spread.
Corona Virus-19, or COVID -19 has changed daily life a lot. As it has become a global pandemic situation, many countries are calling for a state of emergency, issuing tough security measures, limiting social gathering. Some closed their borders to keep them from the virus. It impacts on all parts of human life. Its impacts are not just bringing discomfort but it brings chaos and crises, which result in social fear and anxiety. Church is no exception. To respond to the state of emergency guidelines, our church had to close weekly Sunday worship, replacing it with online livestreaming service.
As I deal with Corona Virus-19 fear and anxiety, I am pondering the presence of God. “ Where do I find God in this situation?” “How can we sing a song of faith in the fear of pandemic?
I meditate on an ancient text, the Bible, to see how the people of faith find God in their challenging, fearful life situations.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever –present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46: 1-3)
The Psalmist begins with his faith confession and continues with the assurance of the presence of God through his description of a possible life crisis: “the earth gives way, and mountains fall into sea.” In my imagination, I draw a picture of this. I read it again, mentally replacing the crisis described by the Psalmist with our crisis today, the Corona Virus, and I form a picture of the crisis we are facing now, pandemic virus, cancelled activities, chaos in business stock market, empty shelves in stores, canceling church worship and programs, fear of being contaminated, anxiety among people…
But the Psalmist continues to sing a song of faith, “The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” He calls for standing strong in faith by singing, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence…. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” (Psalm 91)
We wash our hands, abstain from social gatherings, keep restrictions as responsible people for public health. At the same time and most of all, we keep singing the songs of God, not losing our heart, for God is our help, ever present help in crisis.
I enjoyed the first day of Spring with warm weather, gentle breeze, green yard, birds singing, full blossom Daffodils; to me, these are the signs of new beginning from God. My deep breath was my contemplative, breathing prayer. “Thank you God.”
Grace and Peace of Christ,