Text: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” Lamentations 3:22(NRSV)
I think one of the most difficult things about our current Covid-19 context is having to deal with the unknown…for example, not knowing when it will end, or who it will infect, or how it will impact one’s life, security, and future, and so on. We live in a society used to receiving immediate answers and instant gratification. Therefore, if what we are expecting and planning toward doesn’t come easily and quickly, we think there must be something significantly wrong–and usually not with us, but with it – no matter what “it” may be. We are success oriented women and men who expect everything we want and everything we work toward to happen right NOW – no delays.
How good it is to then be reminded that God is always near and always working on our behalf. Here these words from the Hebrew scripture, from Lamentations 3:22-24 (NRSV):
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is [God’s] faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in [God.]”
I think many of us may sometimes, or perhaps even often, wonder if God is indeed listening to us. Scripture often reminds us that our real connection with God takes persistence and faith, and the ongoing activities of asking, seeking, knocking, listening, thinking, meditating, acting, and waiting. Waiting is often the most difficult!
As a minister, I do a number of weddings each year. One of the things I do, and enjoy doing, is meeting with the couples I am going to marry. Whenever a couple comes in to my office for the first time, I often ask them how they came to know one another and whether or not it was “love at first sight.”
I have gotten mixed responses over the years, but one couple I remember in particular was a couple who, when I asked them if it was “love at first sight,” she quickly said, “No…And as a matter of fact, I couldn’t stand him.” Being a curious type, I asked her how they then came to fall in love with each other.
She told me about their first date, about how arrogant he had been and about how much she disliked his attitude and demeanor. She said she couldn’t wait for the date to end so she could go home and be by herself. Yet, when the groom-to-be described their first date, he told me how he had instantly liked her and was trying to bedazzle her, but that he had found her rather unimpressed with him and actually quite cold.
When I asked them how they happened to have a second date, he said, “I bugged her, and bugged and bugged her daily, until she agreed to go out on a second date for coffee with me.”
According to their story, he was a different person on the second date, “even fun and somewhat charming,” she said. “Instead of being arrogant and obnoxious, he was attentive and pleasant.”
And then what happened, I asked? She said, “He kept after me for a third date, and after that we never wanted to stop seeing each other. We both took the initiative, and now here we are getting married!”
The point is, sometimes our faith needs to be persistent like that!
O God, help me today to believe in your nearness and to live with faith, in spite of the questions I may have and the uncertainty I may be feeling. Amen.
Focus for the Day:
Today I will remember God’s steadfast love and move forward with faith, trust, and persistence.