May 10, 2020

A Deeper Reality

A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.
Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
—Psalm 33:16-19

The United States has the largest military budget in the world. It's not even close. Of course it would be naïve to think that we should not invest in our nation's defense. But perhaps it was naïve to think that that national defense made us safe. After all, it isn't an army or a bombing raid that has imprisoned us all to our homes and shut our businesses. Perhaps a fraction of our defense budget could have been spent on healthcare or invested in how we might respond to a non-military crisis such as a pandemic.

But that's still just me on my soapbox. It's not really what my 21st-century interpretation of today's portion of Psalm 33 should be. I'm not in a position to condemn others if I myself do not place my trust in God for refuge and protection. There will always be a deeper reality to any current situation, and it is especially in times of crisis that I should look for what's behind that which I'm being inundated with by the media or by my neighbors.

And so in the face of fear, my heart and mind will be guarded by a peace which is beyond comprehension. When disease spreads across the earth, I will look up to see the sun of righteousness rising with healing in its wings. And when I am brought to my knees by my own feelings of inadequacy, I will return to my source of strength and trust God in the quietness of prayer. People of true faith make it through war or disease or catastrophe one way or the other. My prayer should not be to simply weather the storm, but to face it with my trust in God in tact.

Help me to look beyond the shadows cast by the world's crises, that I may see your substance beckoning me to wholeness, O Christ. I pray in your Name, who taught me to pray: Our Father...

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