There is an amount of uncertainty in life just in general. These days, with the COVID-19 virus, the unrest caused by racism and violence perpetrated on those who protest against it, as well as government decisions that threaten the lives of LGBTQ and other marginalized persons, uncertainty is the rule rather than the exception. In dealing with the discomfort we may feel toward the mundane daily uncertainty, it is relatively easy to remind ourselves not to lose heart and to put our trust in God to get us through it. These much more serious situations, however, ratchet that uncertainty up a notch…or five. It is in these times that our ability to “let go and let God” is severely challenged.
During these past weeks, a [perhaps] unorthodox interpretation of a line of Psalm 23 has kept niggling at me. “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” This quote typically provides the image of God’s blessings even in the midst of strife. The events of the past few weeks have made me look at this passage not really as a comfort but as a challenge. It is in these trying times that we are given, not solace, but a ‘table’ full of choices regarding our response to them. We are forced to confront the issues not just from a personal perspective, but from the viewpoint of their effect on the entire human race. We are called to awaken from the malaise that often accompanies the most recent news cycle in order to make real decisions regarding the future of our world.
We can, of course, only act within our own sphere of influence, but we must use the tools that are on that ‘table’ spread amidst the enemies of oppression we face to address the issues that are overwhelmingly apocalyptic in their proportion. So, let us take solace, yes, in the gifts with which God has provided us and do what we can to alleviate the suffering that plagues our society at this moment in time. May we approach the uncertainty of our times with the attitude of the psalmist, “though war [or uncertainty] be waged upon me, even then will I trust” (Psalm 27:3b) – for trust in God is one of the greatest tools we have laid out before us. Again, in the words of the Psalms, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Let us remain in the Light so that we might know the path we should walk.