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Thoughts on a crisis

One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 46. The person who wrote it is not naive. He knows that there is nothing easy about life, and in the psalm he speaks of the world falling apart. Consequently, he has every reason to be fearful and anxious.

Without a doubt, in a threatening time of coronavirus, that fear and anxiety is not foreign to any of us.

God is a refuge. We are told that a refuge is a place to escape, to be sheltered and safe.

But it doesn’t just become that automatically; we have to decide to go there.

God is an ever-present help. To be sure, God does not write His name on the walls and rocks of life, but he is there every moment of everyday.

Personally, I like the way the late Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, former chaplain of the United States Senate, describes God-dependable. He says, “God is on our side. God is by our side, and God gives us peace inside. In this crisis or any other time, who could ask for anything more?

Now, I invite you to share a prayer with me. Let us pray.

“Most Holy God, we come together as people drawn by many faiths in the reality of your presence. We come humbled.

We come alarmed, saddened by the devastation the coronavirus has had and is having on our nation and world.

Unquestionably, there are griefs to be comforted, anxieties to be calmed, difficulties to be overcome and burdens to be shared.

As we gather, O God, our hearts are filled with sympathy for the victims of this disease and their families, and we pray your comfort and strength for them. We also express our concern for those with the virus and those who are anxiously waiting for test results or in quarantine.

We lift up our doctors, nurses, first responders and all other personnel who are risking their well being for others. In addition, we pray for our scientific and governmental leaders who are leading us and laboring for treatments and vaccines.

And we would not forget those who are struggling with a job, the loss of a job, small businesses, industries and finances, and certainly, we pray for the safety, protection and guidance of all your children everywhere.

But we also gather together as people of faith and hope because our confidence resides in you, O God. We do indeed recognize you as our help in times past and our hope for the time to come. So, according to your will, O God, grant us this day in our fellowship and aloneness, in our business and leisure, in our worship and actions toward others a real awareness of your accompanying presence.

Remind us again that we can never be where you are not.

When we, your children, get apprehensive enable us to realize that you are in your world, above it and beyond it. And with your servant Paul, may we all experience that grace that is all-sufficient. Amen.”

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