I just didn’t see this coming. Maybe others did. But not me. I knew our world was in trouble and something had to give. But I was thinking maybe something in the realm of epic natural disaster, war or terrorist attack would be the thing to take down the globe. Even then, I wasn’t really thinking about the entire globe. I was leaning more toward my neck of the woods in North America being hit with something that would, at the very least, force us to take pause as a society.
A pandemic? It never occurred to me that a virus, unseen to human eyes, would be the thing that brought us all to our knees.
But it’s brilliant, isn’t it?
Whether or not any of us is a conspiracy theorist, a scientist, a politician, a victim of the dreaded COVID-19 virus, or one of the lucky ones who has managed to escape the illness, it really doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter which side of the great vaccine debate we sit on. This pandemic has got all of us. It has masterfully brought every sector of society into its web of fear, anxiety and destruction. Who could have ever imagined this?
The turmoil we are living in is at best unnerving, but for most people, it is quite frightening. Our anxiety is its own pandemic.
Our world is in turmoil. We are living life in the uncertainty, not knowing how this is all going to turn out. Worry. Fatigue. Anxiety. Stress. Anger. Hatred. These are the descriptors of our time. They cause us to cry out to God – Where is he??
How do we experience the goodness of God in the midst of upheaval and unrest? Where is this elusive good life that Jesus promised in John 10:10 when he says, “I have come to give life and give it abundantly.”
I want an abundant life. Don’t we all?
But I also have this nagging feeling that we don’t quite understand abundance as God sees it. And I wonder if we are actually up to the task of letting go of our preconceived ideas, our worry and anxiety, long enough to listen and allow the Holy Spirit to speak, heal and transform us.
With this as our backdrop, I am inviting you to take a closer look at life, our world, and the heart of God through the lens of Psalm 23. Through the verses of Psalm 23, we will look at various themes that touch on how in Jesus we lack nothing; He refreshes our souls; we can experience peace in the ebb & flow of life; we can face our enemies; and the goodness of God. We’ll see how God’s peace – his Shalom – brings us wholeness, delight and flourishing. As we examine this Psalm more deeply, it is my hope that we will all be challenged, surprised, and humbled by the depth of God’s love, concern and compassion for us.
Cultivate Shalom: A 6-week devotional series that invites you into the joyful wonder of life with God.
Psalm 23 calls us to embrace and participate in the all-encompassing peace and rest of God.
How will you respond? Send us an email to receive daily devotions beginning October 4th, 2021.