If one were to describe the news cyle of the past few weeks, it would be that it is doom and gloom on steroids’. Fear of the invisible, fear of getting too close, fear of going outside, fear of breathing, fear of touching, fear of work, fear of not working, to fear of fearing fear, has filled the headlines for the past few months as through the news we live and breath the pandemic.
Locked away inside of the same four walls, wondering when and if life will ever get back to normal, it sometimes seems like life has been permanently put on pause. Bombarded day after day with words and images of fear, filled with worry about what bad news tomorrow might bring, and how close to the brink of financial disaster we might come, it is easy to forget the little pleasure that life once held, and to think that sorrow and worry will forevermore be our unenviable lot. To believe that the pandemic has forever wiped away hope and joy from our hearts. Deprived of the warmth of gathering together with our loved ones, of sharing time with our best friends, and the simple comfort of an encouraging hug, it is easy for fear to caste its devastating shadow and take over our weary hearts.
In this hour of unprecedented trial, it is tempting to think that God has left us to suffer on our own. That He has abandoned us to be consumed by the contagion, bankruptcy, hunger, and fear. Yet in His word God promises that
For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13
Promising us that no matter what, He is there, holding our hands in the hour of trial, and helping us to safely make it through the hour of trial.
In the book of Psalms He gives us the encouraging promise,
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Psalms 34:7
telling us that in our time of need, He will send His angel to stand guard over us, and shield us. Protecting us from any needless sorrow or woe. Allowing only the hardships and trials, that with His aid, will remove the dross from our characters and transform us into jewels fit for the heavenly kingdom.
And while it is not easy to endure the refiners purifying touch, we can take comfort in knowing that like Job, there is a hedge about us protecting us from many unseen arrows. And set our hearts firm in the promise that although unseen, as we walk through the treacherous valley of death, we can take courage knowing God is by our side, holding our hand as He promised. And like the Paslmist we can declare
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 23:4
And one day soon, when we victoriously come out the other side of this depressing valley, we can fill the heaven’s with God’s praises. Our faith stronger, our hope brighter for the realization that God’s promise is true. And if it is true that He will hold our right hand in our hour of need, then His promise that one day He will come again,
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John14:1-3
and bring us to live with Him must also be true. And then what joy, what rapturous joy will fill our hearts, as with great longing will look forward to the day when the heaven’s are filled with His glory, and our best friend, our brother in sorrow, and our glorious Redeemer, comes to rescue us from this world of pain, to bring us home to live with Him in a land where death, sickness, and sorrow are unknown!
Today I happened upon this beautiful video of bird song put together in such a way that it creates a beautiful symphony. As I listened to this video I was reminded first of the story of the prophet Elijah and his hour of trial. In answer to his prayers the heavens were shut up, and their was no rain to refresh the land. Hunted by his own people, he was exiled to the solitude of the wilderness. For days, weeks, even months, he endured isolation and increasing uncertainty as the brook he depended on for water slowly dried up. Yet God revealed His love and proction each day by sending the ravens to feed him. By this act, proving that God had not left His faithful prophet to suffer alone.
Also, as I watched this video, my mind was drawn to that glorious day when the universe shall rejoice, becasue sin is no more. Death, fear, sorrow, pain, want, hunger, and all of its unfortnate brother and sisters will be no more. On that day, the ugliness that was sin, will perish, never to rise again.
As I watched the various birds singing their hearts out, rejoicing in the simple joys of this blighted life, I wondered how much more intesnse will be their song when God makes all things new. Oh how vibrant, how rich, will be the shout, and how melodious will be the hymns of gratitude that pour forth from the beaks of the birds, but from the lips of the heavenly angels and the redeemed of God as they unite in thanking Him for the incomprehensible joy of an eternity ubroken by strife, tribulation, and death.
It is my prayer, that as you watch this video, you will recall the many ways that God has shown that He loves and cares for you, and thus your heart will be encouraged to look forward with great hope to the day when all nature sings for joy, because sin and death have forever been destroyed.