- First Baptist Church
There is a Greater Victory
Let him sit alone and be silent since He has laid it on him.
Referencing the "stay at home" policy during this pandemic, a friend facetiously said, "We need to pray for all those husbands who for years promised their wives to fulfill certain projects when they get the time."
Humorous, but thought awakening. Take the time to read the poignant book of Lamentations. When you are racing forward in a booming economy to purchase more items, enjoy more vacations and invest in securing your future, it is easy to view the book of Lamentations as a drag. No time for someone who is bellyaching.
It is thought that the book was written shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Think of the disruption of life: a collapsed economy, new powers in command, the stripping of historic identity to impose a foreign culture and no assurance of the future. The "law of consistency" was shattered and could not stop the chaos.
The invisible enemy called the coronavirus has stopped over 180 countries dead in their tracks. It will recede like a tsunami but leave massive loss and destruction to be overcome. Front-line heroes are working 24/7 to beat it in the laboratories and hospitals, as we, the public, hunker down in our homes, only going out for necessities with face masks, gloves, social distancing, sanitizers and lots of scrubbing.
There is a greater victory to be won than to defeat a deadly virus. Like David of old, this is the perfect time to pray something like this: "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" (Psalm 139:23-24).
False prophets have offered sugary answers for suffering since ancient times (see Lamentations 2:14). God's true prophets face rejection and wrath by speaking the truth and calling for repentance. During the dark days of Lamentations, the writer says, "The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him" (3:25).
It is in the silence of suffering that the writer gains a perspective most cannot maintain in good times and writes words that the Church sings to this day, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.'" (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Go ahead and fix the squeaky board or leaky water faucet, but do not miss this grand opportunity to allow God's powerful voice of silence to whisper into your soul. This has always been the surest path through difficult times.