Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #24

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“Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. In panic I cried out, ‘I am cut off from the Lord!’ But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.”
Psalm 31:21-22 (NLT)

If you were born prior to 1990, you probably remember where you were on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. It is one of those moments that burn into our hearts and memories. Chances are you are not a New Yorker, but it didn’t matter where in North America we were living at the time – we felt like we had all been attacked. Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair would later say: “September 11 was, and remains, above all an immense human tragedy. But September 11 also posed a momentous and deliberate challenge not just to America but to the world at large. The target of the terrorists was not only New York and Washington but the very values of freedom, tolerance and decency which underpin our way of life.”

Now we are faced with another target on our way of life. Throughout the pandemic we keep hearing about some promise of a “new normal.” We have no idea what that new normal might look like. Grief occurs when life changes, we have no control over the change, and life will never be the same again. One of the unique aspects of this pandemic is that it is affecting every nation on the planet. These are rare days of global grief.

King David wrote about his day. But the truth he writes about in Psalm 31:21-22 could have been written about the 9-11 attacks or the current pandemic. He says “Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. In panic I cried out, ‘I am cut off from the Lord!’ But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.”

Biblical scholars believe that this Psalm was written by King David when he was forced to flee Jerusalem because his own son Absalom was after his throne. Things has been looking as grim as possible for the king. His city was under attack. This was fear on steroids – David describes it as panic. His fear had caused him to believe that even God had abandoned him.

What is interesting here is that his cry of grief – “I am cut off from the Lord” may have come out of panic, but David was in reality crying out to God in faith. And when he did, God came running to David’s rescue. With His unfailing love, God kept David safe and restored him to his rightful place on the throne of Israel.

In the midst of whatever is happening in your life, whether it is pandemic caused or not, you too can cry out to the Lord. In the midst of your fear, take a step of faith by doing so. You will discover, as David did, that the God of unfailing love, who has expressed that love perfectly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, will keep you safe and answer your cry for help.

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.

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