"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17
As of this morning, the official number of people who died from coronavirus is at 50,372 in the U.S. Some health experts, however, have indicated that the real number of people who died from coronavirus is at least three times more than that. In the meantime, 26.4 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits. That number also does not include the millions who are unable to apply online or at the unemployment offices.
This crisis is exacerbated by the fact that many states are running out of money to provide benefits to the unemployed. Some states may even have to declare bankruptcy. At the same time, many industries are so devastated economically; they may never bounce back.
The disaster facing this nation and the rest of the world is causing many to ask, “God, are you still there?” Many Christians are experiencing a faith crisis because they don’t understand why God is allowing so many to die or lose their employment. Some non-believers are becoming more cynical about God because of the pain and suffering they see in the world.
The Lord has instructed me to remind everyone that “He is still there.” Behold, the Almighty has not vacated his position as the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. He is still on the throne. God is still able to save and to heal. His ears are still open to the sinner's call, and his hands are still quick to lift the fallen soul.
Our Sovereign God is still supplying mercy for the struggling soul and strengthening the weak and the weary. He is still enduringly strong and entirely supreme. Our Lord is still delivering the captive and defending the helpless.
Whereas our existential reality may seduce us to think that the Lord is not there, today’s text reminds us that the Lord is in our midst. He is with the victims of COVID-19 in the hospitals across this country and the world. The Lord is with those who have lost their jobs. He is with family members that are mourning the loss of their loved ones.
God is in the ghettos of America and the Favelas of Brazil, where COVID-19 is destroying the economically oppressed. He is in the shantytowns of South Africa and in the most impoverished communities in Africa, where people have no access to health care. The Lord is in the poorest neighborhoods in Detroit, where many people have no water to drink or to wash their hands.
When sorrows like sea billows roll in your life, remember that the Lord is a mighty one who will save. He is there with you as you shelter-in-place. He will rejoice over you with gladness, and quiet you by his love. So be still so you can hear the Lord exulting over you with loud singing. He is serenading you with his melodious peace as he whispers into your ears, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
Yes, the Lord is still there. If you call on him, he will answer you and tell you great and hidden things that you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3). He will satisfy you with good things so that your hope is renewed amid the COVID-19 crisis (Psalm 103:5).
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help those who are struggling to feel your presence. May your peace overshadow their distress, so they will know that you are still there.