Devotionals During the COVID-19 Crisis: Lesson 20 – From Pastor Joyce

Verse of the Day - Psalms 16:5-11 | The Bible App |

Monday April 13, 2020

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
    You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
    What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
    My body rests in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
11 You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever. 

Psalm 16:5-11 (NLT)

One of my childhood memories of my father is that he loved to drive. And his preferred model of car was a Studebaker since that was the make of car his father drove. My father loved to be behind the wheel. Because of this love of driving and because our family had very little money, one of our favorite things to do was to get in the car and take a ride.

Sometimes we would visit relatives or run errands, but what my father, and my mother as well, truly loved was to explore – just get in the car and drive somewhere. We lived in rural western Pennsylvania so there were plenty of roads to travel, small roads, that weren’t even marked on any map. My father might see a road veering off the one we were traveling, and he would turn up this unknown road just to see where it went. Often, we had no idea exactly where we were but thought it might be interesting to see new territory. Just as an aside, my father was an avid trout fisherman, and so I think he was also scoping out possible new and undiscovered streams for future fishing expeditions.

Even though my brother and I usually had absolutely no idea where we were or where we were headed, neither of us ever felt we were lost. We had faith and confidence in our father that he would be able to get us back home. Since we had no fears, we were able to enjoy the trip.

Thanks to COVID-19 we are all on a trip into the unknown. We don’t really know exactly where we are or when we will get back to the familiar. We have good reason to be anxious, worried, and concerned. Are we going to get sick? Will the stores continue to be stocked? What about our jobs? Our paychecks? Our kids and school? When can we once again go out to dinner/a movie/a sports game? When can we once again gather for worship? When? When? When?

We like to know where we are going, when we will get there, who we will meet, what we will experience, and how we should prepare. We like to be “in the know.” When we don’t have answers to these questions, we can feel lost and maybe even frustrated.

However, just as my brother and I had faith in our father’s knowledge of where we would eventually find something familiar and get us home again, we as Christians have the wonderful gift of faith in our Father God. We are traveling unfamiliar roads because of this virus. We don’t really know where we are going or when the trip will bring us back to the familiar.

We do know that the writer of Psalm 16, King David, was confident that God will show “the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

In the gospel of Matthew 19:14, Jesus reminded the adults who had gathered to listen to him that the faith of children was not to be ignored. Instead he said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Let us all be able to give our concerns and worries over to God and focus on God’s care for us, never leaving us, always being with us, available to us in all circumstances, even our current pandemic difficulties.

Blessings to all who remain safe and well. Blessings to those who are suffering symptoms of this horrid virus. Blessings to those who have lost friends and loved ones in this pandemic. Bless mightily all the doctors and nurses who risk their lives every day and night caring for the sick and those who play support roles – the techs, the transport staff, even those who clean the rooms – all play such an important and vital role in helping all of us get through this time. Bless the EMTs, the fire companies, the police, and our government officials who are trying to keep is all safe. Bless all those who keep our grocery stores stocked, our home centers open for business and all others who are helping to keep our lives as normal as possible in this abnormal time. Blessings to us all. Amen.

-Pastor Joyce Donigian


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