We are living through unprecedented times as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through our world. Every day brings its quota of fresh news, new challenges, additional instructions and a variety of human stories which make us laugh and, sometimes, cry. “How are you?” has become more than a greeting, and “Stay safe!” is the new ‘goodbye’. “Do not be anxious about anything” writes the apostle Paul,” but in every situation…present your requests to [Yahweh]” [Philippians 4:6]. Surely that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Are you tempted to challenge the apostle? Can we have peace in the face of an international storm of trouble and fear? There are so many facets to this problem, wide-reaching, interlocking issues that threaten the fabric of existence; so many things to traumatise and distress.
“Talk to [Yahweh] about whatever may be pressuring you” wrote Robert Leighton, “and commit the entire matter into His hands. Do this so that you will be free from the confusion, conflicts and cares that fill the world today…Acquaint Him with it; yes, even burden Him with it…” Interestingly this was written in the 17th century and I’m intrigued by how relevant it is for today. We humans are expert at ‘casting all our cares on Him’ during prayer times, and then picking up the burden as we go on our way! This is not the way of peace; our Father wants us to commit the burden to Him and leave it! “Our God is eternal and omnipotent” exclaimed Charles Spurgeon; “who ever trusted Him in vain?”
Psalm 91 is a beautiful song of comfort and hope, a glowing account of the security there is for those who love and trust Yahweh. The seven superb ‘I will’ promises in verses 14-16 are made, simply, to those who love Him. We don’t have to earn them; He gives them freely. “I will be with him [or her] in trouble, I will deliver him [or her]…” He says, omnipotently! The burden is His.
Build a little fence of trust
Fill the space with loving deeds
And therein stay.
Look not through the sheltering bars
God will help you bear what comes
Of joy and sorrow.
Mary F. Butts