Psalm 131 (New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
O Lord, my heart is
not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.
Word of Hope
In the NRSV bible, this beautiful scripture is titled “Song of Quiet Trust”. Never, more than today, have we needed such an absolute trust in God. Yes, we know there is physical danger of serious illness and even death. Yes we know that our normal financial resources and our daily routines are disrupted. Our ways of interacting with our friends and loved ones are no longer an option. It stands to reason that we would feel fear, worry, frustration, and perhaps even anger or depression. We may feel deprived even before we run out of toilet paper or anti-virus wipes.
Even so, our Christian faith helps us not be overwhelmed. We are reminded in the scriptures that we have hope and comfort in the worst of circumstances. We need not deny our feelings or require ourselves to be anything other than human. We can however, like the writer of this Psalm, calm our troubled souls and trust in God through all the circumstances.
Easier said than done? Here are a few ideas that may help. I think of it as Applied Christianity.
1. Start your day with a prayer of thanks for the blessings you have. Ask God to help you be more like Jesus today. Ask God to be a blessing to others.
2. Keep a journal in which you keep a list of all your blessings as well as all the people you have encountered who need prayer or have specific needs like a job or some food, or relationship troubles. Use these lists to remember to pray for others and to recognize when God makes you aware of a possible solution like a job opening.
3. Keep in touch with your church family online or by phone. Stay conscious of your own spiritual needs.
4. Keep in touch with friends and family. Remember to be as polite and kind to those near you. We may be spending more time in closer proximity to loved ones. Be extra careful to be loving and don’t forget to love yourself.
Beloved God, Thank you for being our hope in the midst of a storm. Despite the seemingly insurmountable troubles we face, grant me the faith and courage to keep my eyes on you. I know that you are with us and that in you we are always safe. May it be so.
Carole Ann Sarah