During the last week of January, my family and I were relishing the end of a lovely vacation in Thailand and watching the news closely. We were considering what to do in light of the coronavirus chaos unfolding in China, where we currently live. As we prepared to return, though, I was just as concerned about the quarantine time as I was about the virus itself.
I did the math:
(4 very active young kids) + (1,600-square-foot apartment on the 25th floor of a high-rise building) x 8-plus weeks = potential insanity
Fast forward almost two months and we’re still intact, but it hasn’t been easy. The question I’ve repeatedly asked is, What does it look like to depend on God during these uncertain and stressful times?
Medicine from a Cave
Enter Psalm 57, a psalm of David, written in a cave while he is actively being hunted. I imagine he could relate to feelings of isolation and fear.
What does it look like for you and me to run to God as our refuge, to say along with David, “In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by”?
I think it looks like resting in truth and responding in faith.
1. David rests in the truth of who God is and what he’s done.
He is merciful (v. 1). For when I just lost it with my kids (again) and feel like a failure.
He fulfills his purpose for me (v. 2). For when I can’t do my job and I’m struggling with my worth and identity.
He has sent from heaven and saved me (v. 3). For when I need to be reminded that I trust in a God who doesn’t just listen to my cries for mercy, but who entered fully into my pain and who gave his life that I might live.
His love and faithfulness are steadfast to the heavens (v. 10). For when everything around me feels uncertain and hard. God knows, sees, and never changes.
2. David responds in faith, based on who God is and what he’s done.
He cries out to God with honesty about his feelings and situation (vv. 4, 6). The danger is real and the temptations to fear or despair seem ever-present.
He trusts (v. 7). His heart is steadfast because God is steadfast.
He sings and gives thanks (vv. 8–9). If he can find things to thank God for from inside a desert cave, we can too.
He hopes for the future (vv. 8–9). He looks forward to the time when he will once again gather with God’s people for worship, and ultimately when the earth will be filled with God’s praise.
The Shadows Will Pass. God Won’t.
Years ago, Amy Carmichael (1867–1951) observed:
I think one of the Devil’s favorite devices is to try to make us dwell on the hardness of things in general, and to make us feel as if they would always go on like this. But they will not. They are shadows that pass.
This “shadow” will pass. So let’s not lose hope. Let’s press on, resting in truth and responding in faith, knowing our God always has, and will, work everything for our good and his glory.