From my journal, Carol Brennan King
The first part of this meditation was written in my devotional journal on Mar 22, 2020.
Psalm 36:5-6 Your mercy O Lord is in the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains. Your judgments are a great deep. O Lord, you preserve man and beast.
The writer of this psalm was David, the shepherd boy who became King. He had experienced God’s faithfulness, His righteousness, and His judgments. David recognized it was God who preserved man and beast. David had experienced his own sin, betrayal by others, great heartache and loss, but he saw it all through the lens of his relationship with God, so he could write those words above.
Today, as the virus wafts around the world, we must not lose hope. I do know the challenges and when we experience the reality that the same God Who heals some chooses not to heal others. And in the middle of this pandemic, God will not choose necessarily the way we think he should. But two things are present here: God knows things we do not know, and sometimes we are given tough things to experience as a trust, an opportunity to bring glory to His name by living out what we say we believe. I should have said three things: the third is that the life of believers is far better when they pass through death because they waken in the presence of God where there is no more suffering for them.
Today: Nine months have passed since that cold night nine months ago when I sat in my bed and wrote the above passage. In some ways, little has changed. We still live in a world with challenges we never dreamed possible due to the invasion of the covid virus. One thing I have learned though is that God brings blessings even in the middle of a storm.
Instead of traveling to Florida or Michigan or New York to see our family this year, we have found a refreshment in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Instead of dining out at restaurants, we have celebrated and shared our picnics with squirrels in the beautiful state and local parks nearby. Instead of leisurely shopping expeditions, we have chosen times when the grocery store is least likely to be crowded. We discovered the way we used to do things was not the only way to do it. We discovered peace and joy and laughter even (thank you, squirrels) all by ourselves.
It is not that we haven’t missed our family. We have. But I remember a time when it took six weeks to get a letter to my family and then get one back when we lived in Africa. Now we can call and even see our children every day if we wanted to regardless of the miles.
We certainly have not gone hungry either. Now, I can hear somebody out there say, “I bet you haven’t lost someone to covid.”
No, not an immediate family member, but the list is long of people we have worked with and loved who have passed from this life to the next due to covid. And you know what has helped me the most? The assuredness, the confidence that though they closed their eyes here on earth, they opened them in heaven. I can scarcely imagine that – waking up in eternity where all of the puzzles of Scripture have become a clear reality that makes sense. And those friends are now whole and healthy and filled with a joy I hope to comprehend one day.
I know this is so because I know that they had a relationship with God through their faith and confidence in the words of Christ recorded in John 5:24,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and does not come into judgment, but has passed our of death into life.”
Later in the book of John, he quotes Christ here in chapter 6, verse 40:
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on that last day.”
Well, I have run on long enough. Thank you for listening or reading, and I hope you have been encouraged just a little bit.
May God give you a blessed new year, and may you notice those blessings as they come to you.