A Note from Jessie – Covenant Newsletter, March 2020

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

(Psalm 40:2)

My husband, Steele, receives a daily Bible verse from his phone to start each day. Perhaps many of you do, as well. Because his early morning work schedule draws him out of bed before the sun (and certainly before the rest of his sleeping family), I like to imagine the quiet moment he takes to read scripture in the predawn darkness. His first words to his *very* slow-to-rise wife each morning are often a recounting of the beautiful and helpful words he reads. The above scripture from the 40th Psalm that greeted him last week felt especially poignant and divinely timed. 

Because what a week it was.

Nothing like a natural disaster and a virus outbreak to remind us quite how needy and out of control we really are. 

He lifted me out of the pit of despair…

How many people in our community are experiencing despair? Those who have lost loved ones, beloved homes, businesses they have built from the ground up— not to mention  priceless pictures and irreplaceable heirlooms— learned all too well last week about pits of despair. Those who cry out for their community, eager to help yet bewildered over where to start, search their dear city and find themselves surrounded instead by rubble and chaos, by the mud and the mire. 

Frightened parents, filled with their natural instincts to protect their families, watch the newscasters’ increasing concerns over a spreading virus and struggle to discern the right course of action, unsure of what is solid ground. 

Lord, lift me out! 

The psalmist’s words echo through time and space. We long for steady ground and sure footing. We pray for safety and reassurance. We need help.

And tucked like a gift into one of my morning routines last week was a reassuring reminder about God’s unfailing love and everlasting help for His people. I was listening to Ian Cron, author, counselor, priest, and host of the podcast Typology, when he relayed an anecdote of pure hope that cut through my anxiety-riddled morning like a radiating beam of sunlight. Again, divine timing in the every day. Here is a paraphrase of what I heard Cron share:

There was a renowned scholar named Huston Smith who recently died at the age of 97. He spent 70 years of his life studying faith traditions from all over the world and devoted his life to teaching religious studies. Shortly before he died, Smith was asked if he could sum up all that he had learned. If there was a condensed truth he could share. And the old man paused, smiled, and said five simple words: “We are in good hands.”

We are in good hands, friends. Even when the world outside feels a whole lot like a pit of despair, God will lift us up, out of the mud and mire. He will set our feet on solid ground once again and steady us as we walk along. 

For He is good. 

And He’s got this. 

Amen.

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