“Mom, I’m at a job in Woodstock; Janet is at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton with Jon-Marc. The doctors are going to give her the test results and they would like her to have someone with her.” “Phil, I’m leaving now.”
I will never forget that day, those words, and the tears I cried. Even now, as I write this eleven years later, the memory of that day is vivid, bringing deep emotion and tears. We thank the Lord that Jon-Marc is entering highschool in the fall. God spared his life, and guided the family through the diagnosis of Leukemia, the extremely difficult first 2½ years following, conintued treatments, and the very slow improvement since. God has guided the parents through dozens of decisions, and helps them to continue to have a healthy marriage. None of that could have happened without complete dependence on God and His Word.
We are looking at Psalm 119: 105-112 today. These verses have some very helpful principles and action points to implement when going through dangerous and perhaps life-altering situations. Let’s take a close look at them. Remember, none of these are likely new to you, but perhaps you will see them with a different perspective as we consider COVID-19 through the lens of scripture.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 119:105–112). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
As you read these verses over several times, what is God saying to you today?
Is there anything God has pointed out to you that will help you to deal with the issues this pandemic is presenting to you?
Take a moment to encourage someone else by recording, in the comment field, how God has spoken to you today.
The Collingsworth family sing Fear Not Tomorrow. Listen, it may encourage you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmH5QQSLtNk
“May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding,
keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
“I wish I could understand why my teen behaves that way.” “If only Sally understood how I feel.” “I don’t understand, what should I do?” “I don’t understand why that happened.”
Have you ever asked yourself similar questions? Perhaps we need to look at things from a different perspective. Maybe we have asked the wrong questions. The better question might be “What would Jesus do?” Or is that question is just a cliché, or too simple? However, when I look at the account of Jesus’ life in Scripture, I see how He connected with people, and how He helped them during difficult situations? I realize I need to do the same thing.
Christ repeatedly stopped what He was doing and paid attention to those with whom He came in contact. Jesus saw them in their situation. We read this in the accounts of the woman at the well, Zaccheus, and when He asked that the children not be sent away, to name a few. Because Jesus is God, He knew their hearts, their needs and their motivations. He knew their struggles and sins. Without His omniscient power, how do we understand at a deeper level?
First, I read Psalm 119:97-104 several times and found three strategies that helped me better understand God and scripture. These verses also point to three significant outcomes when we understand God’s Word.
If you and I met together, I would ask you to look for these approaches and outcomes yourself. We would sit and discuss together what we each discovered. Perhaps you will want to stop reading this entry now, and read today’s verses to see what you find.
The words time, think and taste are either written or implied in these verses. I need to spend time with God. I need to think deeply about Him and His Word. I need to taste and savour every morsel. Tasting implies more than just a quick popping of something into the mouth. It indicates chewing on it, enjoying it, and receiving its nutrition. It’s important to fully experience His Word to understand it. This leads to intimacy with God. If you have travelled with us through this Psalm, you will realize this whole chapter is about falling in love with God, His Word, and its importance in our lives.
Second, I need to apply these same strategies when interacting with others. Spending time getting to know a person and developing a friendship first is the only way I will gain the privilege of speaking into their life when they have a need. In return, this person will also know me well enough to come alongside me when I need extra care.
Finally, as I meditated on these verses, I realized that time spent with thinking and tasting deep into His Word leads to significant changes in me.
I see a change in my actions and attitudes. If I allow the Lord to fill me with His Spirit I will be able to respond with His love, not with my agenda or bias. I will be able to understand others better. I will learn God’s principles that will, in turn, help me discern the needs of others and their viewpoints in a clearer light.
What would happen if we used these three tactics: time, thinking, and tasting when we are faced with something we don’t understand when it comes to pandemic issues? I truly believe we, as followers of Jesus, will respond with much more Christlike actions and attitudes.
To understand we needn’t know everything or agree completely with someone.
“Ouch!” I had just burned my finger on the toaster. My dad quickly told mom to grab the butter and slather it over the sore finger. Wait, what? Butter on a burn. That’s right. The year was about 1955; my dad was a Detroit Fireman putting his training into practice.
This is just one belief now proven wrong. That was probably one of the worst ways to treat my burn. Today we know that cold running water brings quick relief to a minor burn. Cold running water protects the skin, stops the burn from spreading, relieves the pain, and reduces swelling.
There are many remedies, precautions, and protocols that have been declared absolutely necessary as we endure this pandemic. Most of these, if not all, will not harm us, and will not increase our risk of contracting the coronavirus. We are not 100% sure they are effective, but many would rather “err on the side of caution” and follow these to help slow the spread to others. There may come a time when we learn which practices were helpful in the fight against COVID-19 and which were not. Until then, it is probably best to follow these safeguards.
There is one thing we can absolutely depend upon. One thing that has never been proven wrong. God’s Holy Word. Today’s scripture portion, Psalm 119: 89-96, should bring us peace and comfort.
If you are feeling anxious, or worried, read these verses a few times to help bring quietness to your soul. As we pause and acknowledge that His word is true, and has been from the beginning of time, God can bring our heart and mind to rest.
Job insecurity, financial problems, new or worsening health concerns, and relationship struggles can all add to the anxiety already being experienced. Are you able to agree with the words of the writer? If you are, tell God that you do believe His Word and are trusting in Him. If you aren’t able to, but would like to, let God know that. Ask Him to give you the faith to believe and trust in each word of the Bible. Spend quiet time reading these verses or other portions that have brought you peace in the past. Review Philippians 4: 4-8. Ask God to bring that peace into your soul.
God knows who reads this blog. I don’t. My prayer is that each person will realize God’s Word to be unchanging truth. I pray they will experience His Presence, Peace, Power, and Protection every day.
May the peace of God that surpasses all of our understanding
guard and protect you today. – Debi
Debi Snider... more