How Long, O Lord?
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
Psalm 13:1-2 (NRSV)
I don’t know about you, but I find that David’s cry to God has taken up residence in my mind and heart. Each day as I head to the office, I find myself wandering the campus and wondering when I will be able to walk into the sanctuary and see you there, to hear your voices lifted in song, to have my soul lifted toward heaven as I listen to the choir offer praise to God. I wonder when I will be able to share in the prayers you offer each week as we pray together in our service; when I can see with my own eyes “how you are doing.” Each day is tinged with sadness at our separation. So, I cry out, “How Long, O Lord?”
But then God reminds me that even though we can’t gather, God is at work in our lives. Through the work of the Deacons, God’s love is being shared with each of you. Through the work of our youth, needs are being met by those who can’t risk going out. Through the work of our Spanish Ministry, joy is being shared. Through your generous gifts, peoples lives are being changed through the work of our mission partners and the ministries I have just mentioned. Through the gifts of Martha, Patty, Brenda and Richard, the church continues to function so very well. Through the gifts of Emily, Brenda, Colin, Dennis, Dale, Denean, Heather and Kibsaim, we are able to worship God together, even though we are separated. Through the commitment and creativity of Lori, our children are being taught about God’s love for them.
Through the wisdom of Session, good decisions are being made about how to partner with the preschool, TTPC, and the ongoing ministry of the church as we seek to navigate the choppy waters around us. Through your prayer lives, I am being buoyed for the work I have before me each week. Through your kind care of your neighbors, God’s love is being spread beyond our church family.
What that means is that God has not forgotten us. Even in the midst of this strange epoch of our life together, God is at work, not only through us, but in us. I know that I have grown in my relationship with God over this time, and I dare say that you have as well. That is why, when those words that David uttered so long ago recur in my mind, they do not stay for long, because as Paul wrote to the Philippians “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Pastor Steve Ranny