Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Some of the Davidic psalms express wonder at God’s power and strength while others exude thankfulness for God’s goodness toward King David and toward his people Israel. However, there are other psalms of David, sometimes called “psalms of lament,” where he lays bare his anguished soul before God. Psalm 13 is one of these psalms. It begins, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” David was wrestling with a feeling of abandonment during a period of protracted struggle. In verse 2, the intensity of David’s struggle becomes even more profound: “How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?”
My soul also cries out, How long, O LORD? I desire things to be as they were. I want the era of COVID-19 to pass, and to pass quickly. I yearn for social upheaval to end and peace to reign in this nation. You almost certainly feel the same. How long, O LORD?
As we continue through the rest of Psalm 13 and arrive at the end of this short psalm, two things stand out. First, God does not answer David’s question. How long will the suffering and struggle continue? God doesn’t give David a timeframe. So it is with us. We wish we had a “Coronavirus countdown clock”; something that would mark the time until the virus passes. But, of course, God has not indicated how long the current conditions will continue. Secondly, and more importantly, David concludes this psalm having grown in his confidence in God’s love and his desire to praise his Redeemer: “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me” (vv. 5-6). David exhibited what you could call a fruitful perseverance. He not only “survived” this period of deep struggle, but he was also transformed through the experience as he remained firmly committed to the Lord and his goodness, resulting in worship.
This is my desire for my life, for each one of you, and for our church. Each day right now may feel like a dense fog, but God intends no trial to go to waste; we are being given an opportunity by the Lord to be shaped into the image of his Son. Lord, however long you would have us continue through these days, keep us persevering and make us fruitful as we seek to live faithfully before you.
Please take note of the following announcements for this week:
Adult Sunday School will meet this Sunday (11:30am-12:30pm)
A reminder to those of you participating in the Fruit of the Spirit Sunday school series that we are meeting this week after the second service to discuss the first chapter. If you have already registered, pick up a copy of the book on the table outside the Worship Center. If you have not registered but would like to attend, contact Rosa Matos, our Church Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Church Workday: Saturday, October 10 (9am-Noon)
We encourage you to come and pitch in to help prepare our church property for the winter by focusing on landscaping cleanup on Saturday, October 10. Snacks will be provided!
Men’s Bible Study
The Men’s Bible study is cancelled for September 26 and October 3 while Larry LaBelle is out of town. We will resume on Saturday, October 10.
Reminder: COVID-19 Relief Available
If you have a financial or material need during this time, we encourage you to contact the elders of the church. We have a fund for mercy relief to assist you during this time.
Carol Day: Pray for continued strength and recovery following gallbladder surgery last week.
Karen Snowden: Please continue to pray that God would comfort and encourage Karen Snowden and her family following the recent loss of Karen’s sister, Ramona.
This Sunday’s sermon text is 1 John 4:13-21, where John emphasizes the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s continuing role in the Christian’s life. I praise God for his continued work in our midst at Faith Community Church and look forward to worshipping with you this Lord’s Day.