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  • S Oliver

The Pandemic, the Pain and the Promise


It is no secret that I have found some of this time in the pandemic challenging to say the least. Add to it the racial strife, political chaos, and the everyday ups and down of life, and I have found myself emotionally and spiritually exhausted. I rode the wave of emotion from disappointment to despair, misery to melancholy, anger to animosity. I was on the edge of becoming a misanthrope for a minute… but it is only the love of God that constrains me.

One day, in the early morning quiet, these words began to resonate in my spirit. “Walk in the promise, not in the pain”. Those words have been with me ever since. I know and recognize the voice of God and as is usual for me, I began to ask questions. “Which promises”? “Are you referring to something specific, Lord?” (As you have probably concluded, God is very patient with me! lol) As the days ensued, I realized that it did not matter if I had a clear cut or distinct promise on which to stand, every promise of God is true, and He is faithful to fulfill them all. Not because of some good we have done or deserve, but because of the good He has done for us through Christ Jesus.

So, I wanted to share with you seven promises of God that you can also hold on to in times like these. In fact, Hebrews 10:23 in The Passion Translation, say it this way: “So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises”!

1. I will be with you. The balancing act between staying safe and staying connected is often frustrating. While I have visited with one or two friends, I’ve missed the laughter and connectedness of larger groups. There’s been no backyard b-b-q’s, no family vacation and no girl’s night out. Some days I have been left feeling lonely and distant from those I love and care about. Despite that, I remember Romans 8:38-39 and I find peace. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

2. I will protect you. The racial unrest has caused me to have moments of trepidation. When tensions are high, I go into a hyper-vigilant mode. Nevertheless, I am assured in Psalm 138:11, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right had delivers me.”

3. I will be your strength. I have had moments of being disillusioned with humanity. Horrified by the acts of cruelty committed by one human being upon another and crushed by the weight of it all. Afterall, I am an empath. But, Isaiah 41:10 reminds me, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am you God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

4. I will answer you. As you can see from my comments above, I have lots of questions and I am not afraid to ask! I have always been a curious kid and I am still a curious adult with questions. I am also grateful that God eagerly invites my questions. Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”.

5. I will provide for you. I am thankful that I have need of nothing, even in these turbulent and uncertain times. I am blessed. I know so many others who cannot say the same. I also know without a doubt, that God is well able to provide because it has not always been this way. Philippians 4:19 gives confidence to God’s provision. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”.

6. I will give you peace. In times like these, we need an anchor. Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock! This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the one! The words to this old hymn remind me that peace is an inside job. 1 Peter 5:7 invites us to “Cast[ing] all your anxieties on him {Jesus} because he cares for you”.

7. I will always love you. One of our greatest human needs is to be nurtured and loved. It’s not surprising that most of us find love to be a determining factor to our happiness. We believe that love allows us to live happy and fulfilled lives. The great new is this. God loves us with an unfailing love! Psalm 86:15, reminds us of His loving commitment to us. “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”. If there is ever a doubt in your mind, remember God loved us so much that He gave His best. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”.

I do not know how long the pandemic or political upheaval will last. I do not know how long black and brown skin will continue to be weaponized. I do not know how climate change will ultimately affect humanity or how history will be written about this moment in time; but, what I do know is that God will never change. For me, my friends, that is good news and I will choose each day to walk in the promise and not in the pain.

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