13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14 (King James Version)
As we witness the change of seasons, it has been quite a upsetting ride. We’ve witnessed three devastating hurricanes here in North America: Harvey in Texas; Irma and Maria throughout the Caribbean (with Irma impacting Florida as well). We witnessed a powerful earthquake striking Mexico. We see Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un playing nuclear brinksmanship with the world wondering what will happen next. We have a President who has the class and care of a vulture, embarrassing America in the process. And this week, we saw the killing of 59 and 500-plus innocent people during a concert in Las Vegas. Here in Newark, we saw one student viciously attacked because she was transgender-thankfully she survived; while in another school a bullied teen lost it and stabbed two other students-killing one.
It’s almost as if we’ve been inundated with bad news these last several weeks. Add on the ongoing climate crisis, economic woes, and our own individual problems it can be worse. This makes you want to throw your hands up in the air and just give up. You ask the age-old questions, “What’s next?” and “How much more can I/we take?”
In tonight’s Scripture, we see the psalmist (probably David) facing a dilemma. From what I’ve researched, this was during the time when King Saul was gunning for David. David knew that Saul (and others) were against him, and he was in a very precarious position. However David remembered God’s goodness and care-even if his own parents were to forsake him. David knew that it was God’s goodness that kept him. It was this Divine providence that kept David from “fainting” or giving up; it kept his confidence during the midst of trial.
In the midst of today’s turmoil, David’s psalm rings through. He would remind us of God’s steadfast love and care. He would tell us to “wait” on God-to develop Divine hearing so we can hear His/Her voice in the midst of the strife about us. It is God whose goodness and care that will keep us in this present hour from losing it and giving up. Even if we can’t see it, we can take heart and be confident that God is there. Before I end for the night, I want to leave you with these words from an old hymn I grew up with:
“In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock”
(From “The Solid Rock” by Ruth C. Jones)
Pray for the victims of the hurricanes, the Mexican earthquake, the Newark school attacks, the Las Vegas victims, and others impacted by trauma.
(Image: South Mountain Reservation, New Jersey. October 3, 2017. I think we’re tired of seeing news photos)