3-24-21 Judith Hugg

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

The pandemic has been so many bad things: murderous, unexpected (variants!), isolating, polarizing, terrifying, and so many of us have lost family, friends, neighbors to its grip. We recently lost a church friend to it; he had gotten ill, just as the life-saving vaccines were beginning to roll out. There was a profound unfairness to it. As there was a deep unfairness to the death of a young friend who last June was in the wrong place at the wrong moment, and was killed in a bike accident by a 90+ year old woman who was driving—with dementia. If our friend, or the woman, had just been 10 seconds earlier—or 10 seconds later—he would still be with his adored wife, and with us. So catastrophically unfair.

But God is still in our midst. God is still quieting me with that eternal love. And this past year, it didn’t always feel like it. To tell the truth, there are many occasions, years, situations where it didn’t feel like God was exactly rejoicing over me with gladness. But does my human perspective make null and void the promises of God, much as it might feel like it does? Is God only God when things are rosy; is my faith only valid when my life looks presentable and fashionable and ready-for-church?

I’ve been working hard in my morning prayer time to focus on those promises of God. They don’t look like what the world is trying to feed me; the news is filled with disunity everywhere, violence, hatred, lies, rage, and revenge! But what God feeds me is a peace inside. The world screams out in unfairness and cynicism; my God has a still small voice—and occasional loud singing!–that accompanies me!

Lord, teach me to join the singing; remind me of how mighty You are and how little I actually understand. I want your eternal love to quiet my hurting heart. Thank you, God, that I don’t have to do this world alone, because of You.