As promised, this week we are focusing on hope for our Daily Lenten Journey during this health crisis. I don’t mind admitting, I didn’t turn the news on even once yesterday, and already I’m feeling more at peace. I’m not suggesting living in ignorance. I’m quite aware of the severity of the situation, but I just needed the day off from the news. I’ll get caught up today. In meantime, I’m focusing on hope.
Today’s reading from Isaiah (you can read it below) that hope speaks loudly for our hearts. Based upon our willingness to glorify God, he returns the favor by being “a stronghold to the poor…the needy…a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” What more do we need while we are forced to remain home in isolation from each other?
Yes, God is our stronghold, but notice He doesn’t promise to always stop the storm. We would have no need for his comfort if there were no storm. If we were not poor, we would have no need of his strength. Despite our great national and personal wealth, it is easy to feel poor and helpless in the face of such an unknown as the Coronavirus (COVID19). Our hope is always knowing that God is our stronghold IN THE STORM. I hope this helps. It helped me.
O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. For thou hast made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. Therefore strong peoples will glorify thee; cities of ruthless nations will fear thee. For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the blast of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, like heat in a dry place. Thou dost subdue the noise of the aliens; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled. On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined. And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." – Isaiah 25.1-9