Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Psalm 56:1-4 (ESV)
On Easter Sunday, as we all worshipped together, dispersed across the country and gathered around the screens of our various devices, our senior pastor, Marty Grubbs, talked about what Jesus’ disciples must have experienced on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Doubt, fear, and uncertainty were just the beginning of the list of emotions and sensations they were experiencing. For us, more than 2000 years later, we take comfort in knowing how the story ended.
Even so, for many of us, as we deal with the new reality of COVID-19, it may seem like we are living in an endless Saturday–a perpetual loop that is far worse than any repeated day Bill Murray may have experienced in the movie Groundhog Day.
We wonder when it will end. Could the situation worsen? Our days are filled with uncertainty and unanswered questions.
Maybe you feel like King David did as he wrote Psalm 56: attacked, oppressed, and trampled. Whether it is people or circumstances, the sensations are the same. There is fear. There is loneliness. David’s solution? “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Just as our world needs a vaccine against COVID-19, we also need an antidote against despair, loneliness, and fear. In Christ, we have hope. A hope that is greater than any circumstance that our world may bring to our doorstep. A hope that your family, your neighbors, your co-workers–all of us–are desperate for. A hope that is found only in our risen Savior.
One of my favorite hymns is “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus,” written by Helen H. Lemmel in 1922 (yes, I realize this admission does make me old). The lyrics of this great hymn are fitting for our current circumstances:
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
When we keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, when we choose to worship our risen Lord and embrace the power of his resurrection, then just like King David, we overcome our fear. Better still, we are then equipped to be exactly what our world needs, what we aspire to be as Crossings Community Church: a voice of hope.
Our gracious and loving heavenly Father,
May we dwell deeply within your presence today. As we continue to come to grips with a new reality and an uncertain future, remind us that you are an unchanging God. When we find ourselves suffering under the cares of this life, encourage us with the knowledge that your son suffered, too, and because of his victory, we are also victorious. Lord, use us to boldly share your message of hope to those around us so they will also share in a “life more abundant and free.”
In Jesus’ name,
Pastor of Pastoral Care
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