Do you remember life in the before-time? When you didn’t have to strategically plan an early morning grocery store trip on the day you knew toilet paper had been stocked the night before? When you could run a quick errand without having to stop to grab your mask? When everything was open? When you could choose to watch a movie, eat out at a restaurant, go to a football game, or attend a middle school band concert in the school auditorium on any given weekend?
Yeah, me neither. I react when I am watching television and I see people less than six feet apart until I realize it was filmed before the pandemic started. I think in the beginning of this we all thought that if we sacrificed, stayed at home, minded our p’s and q’s, and hunkered down, we would flatten the curve and everything would quickly go back to the way things were. Now we find ourselves in an extended first wave that is not flattening as we had hoped, and a second wave is becoming more of a reality.
As a nation, along with other nations in the world, we groan with one breath and cry out, “How long?” How long will we have sorrow in our heart every day? How long will this enemy virus have power over us? How long until we completely forget what “normal” looks like?
In Psalm 13, the psalmist beautifully articulates exactly what we are feeling right now. He asks the painful question of how long his torment will last:
Psalm 13 (New King James Version)
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
But his faith steps in and he remembers to whom he is speaking. He asks God to hear him. And we know that whenever we cry out to our Lord, he always inclines his ear.
3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4 Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
So even in the terrible circumstance that brought him to pen these words, he defaults to his trust in God’s mercy. He is able to turn his lament into a rejoicing of heart, anticipating God’s salvation.
5 But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
Guess what? We are officially one day closer to the end of this thing. So let us prepare for that day by warming up our voices and practicing our harmonies. There will come a day soon when we will sing to the Lord with thanksgiving for his bountiful mercy to us.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Joy Still Comes in the Morning!