“Coronavirus lockdowns have caused the Earth to effectively stop shaking” the headline read, for an article written by Chris Ciaccia, on foxnews.com. Ciaccia also reported that CNN was told that Brussels saw a 30 to 50 percent reduction in ambient noise since the lockdown began in the middle of March. Because of less movement on our planet, seismologists are now able to pick up smaller earthquakes because there is less seismic noise.
Pandemic. The word itself is ominous. The experience of it more so. What has helped you cope? To do what we are told – social distancing, hand washing, masks, gloves – is a helpful guidepost to protect ourselves. At least we feel like we are doing something to compete with our fears and keep ourselves safe. These things are very important, but I need something or someone larger than this elusive, haunting virus to help me through this precarious time.
For me, that someone is God. God is the grand reservoir of meaning in the best of times and the worst of times. Few sources help us understand God and how God may help us navigate difficult days like the Bible.
At times, the words of Scripture seem to leap from the page with a fitting application to present circumstances. That’s how I felt recently when I read Lamentations 3:20-24:
“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’”
Lamentations, as its name implies, is a lament. The Covid-19 pandemic is a time of lament. The emerging, ever-changing characteristics and unknowns of this virus add to our lament. That is one more reason to find encouragement and hope in this biblical passage – The faithful love of the LORD never ends! God and God’s loving character do not change. While updates on Covid-19 are changing daily, new every day, God’s mercies are also fresh every morning.