Suggested Reading: Psalm 3
As I talk to people over the phone and online, while respecting the boundaries of social distancing, I’ve been noticing a tone of weariness seeping into our conversations.
We’ve been isolating ourselves for about three weeks. Since I battle chronic pain and fatigue daily, I’m used to being on lockdown with my sidekick and service dog, Callie. We’ve enjoyed having my husband home with us and are used to working side by side, so we’ve been productive . . . when our sweet fur-baby isn’t antsy and needing extra attention.
But as the world continues to fight COVID-19, this season of separation feels different.
Today, my friend, Patti, and her beautiful family dropped off a homecooked meal for us to enjoy. Even though hugging hurts me physically, my heart longed to give her a big ol’ hug and tell her how much I appreciate her generous love for God and others.
Not being able to hug someone because we want to keep each other safe from a virus that’s causing death across the world is not the same as not hugging to avoid muscle spasms.
I stood on my porch. They stood in my driveway. We expressed love for one another with smiles and encouraging words, promising to continue praying for each other.
God’s love reached across the safe-distance between us and stretched across town as they drove home and I closed the door behind me.
I went back to working on my computer and gave in to the tears.
I miss my friend, but I want to keep her safe as I keep my family safe.
Love for one another, not fear of catching COVID-19, is keeping us apart.
Still, many of us are weary.
Some of us are tired of feeling alone, anxious, or afraid.
Some of us are sick of being cooped up, overwhelmed by facts, and worried about how long this pandemic is going to last.
This weariness is absolutely normal.
When we face real danger and countless unknowns, waiting for answers and relief feels impossible to bear.
How can we feel safe and secure when the wait feels endless?
David penned Psalm 3 when his son, Absalom, decided to kill him. Running for his life, David longed for a sense of security and peace. Fleeing a deadly enemy, the psalmist lived in a state of paranoia. I can imagine David living on alert, looking over his shoulder, anxious and afraid.
How many of us can relate to feelings of anxiety, fear, and even a bit of paranoia as we scrub our hands and wipe down surfaces we never thought would be considered dangerous?
How many of us can understand how David felt when he couldn’t sleep, when he feared stepping out in public, when he longed for an assurance of safety?
Being isolated as we submit to the #COVID-19 safety measures while the world continues facing natural disasters, economic uncertainty, and relational turmoil, can wear us out physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually.
How can we experience peace when the world feels so unpeaceful?
As David faced a determined foe in Absalom, he became overcome with increasing enemies. Some people criticized his decision to trust God as his helper (Psalm 3:1-2, CSB).
Instead of cringing into defeat, David turned his cries toward the only one he believed capable of rescuing him.
“But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory and the one who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the LORD and he answers me from his holy mountain.” (vv. 3-4, CSB)
David’s plea is an intimate prayer directly from his mouth to God’s heart.
The psalmist’s displays a confident tone in his word choices, as he writes:
“I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the LORD sustains me.” Psalm 3:5 (CSB, emphasis mine)
David didn’t lose sleep while under relentless attack because he knew from past experiences that God would remain his constant support in all circumstances.
With thousands of adversaries coming at him from all sides, David refused to succumb to his fears (v. 6). Scripture doesn’t say David never feared. He wouldn’t be asking for rescue if he wasn’t afraid of his enemies (v. 7).
Acknowledging the danger, taking precautions, and proclaiming dependence on God showed David’s wisdom and faith.
Though the coronavirus seems to be flanking us, infecting hundreds of thousands of people, we do not have to bow down in defeat. By admitting our true feelings and our struggles, we’re not showing a lack of faith.
We can place our anxious thoughts before God with confidence in His mercy.
The Lord Almighty has proven his faithfulness in the past and will not falter in this present darkness.
God is our Shield, our Refuge, our Protector. He provides today, just as He’s provided in the days we’ve long forgotten.
Wielding the Sword of Truth (God’s Word) we can pause for prayer throughout the day with heart-deep assurance in our trustworthy Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Waiting for God when we’re weary isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible when we’re reliant on His strength instead of our own.
God of Comfort, thank You for affirming You are able and available to be our ever-present help in trouble. Please help us name our fears, our worries, and our struggles, so that we will no longer be fighting an invisible enemy. Help us combat our uncertainty with Your sure hope and sufficient grace.
Please show us who we can encourage today as we remain physically separated because of our love and concern for one another. Save our world from this spreading virus, Lord. Rescue us by the life-giving power of Your Holy Spirit. Empower us to rise up in courage, as You help us discover creative and tangible ways to lovingly serve You and others as we unite to fight the coronavirus by staying physically separate but intimately connected. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What real dangers, fears, worries, or uncertainties are heavy on your heart today?
What does it mean to you when you remember God is your shield, your protector, your sustainer who lifts up your head toward His enduring hope?
How can pausing for prayer throughout the day help us focus on His ability to be our ever-present help no matter how much trouble surrounds us?
I look forward to hearing from you in the comment section below.
You can also join me for Pause for Prayer with Xochitl Dixon videos on Facebook.
I will record the daily videos and save them on Facebook so you can join me at your convenience. I’ll read through a portion of Scripture, offer heart-lifter moment, and end in prayer. I’ll be sharing from Psalm 3 today. To join me for today’s heart-lifting Pause for Prayer video, please click here.
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