IN DISTRESS, HE ANSWERED ME
As I read this text this verse especially resonated with me today, especially in light of all that continue to transpire around us in these unparalleled Covid-19 times. In a very powerful way this Psalm speaks for us today. It highlights the predicament of so many of us. It is an undeniable fact that all around us, people are stressed out and in distress. Even the pastors, the ministers of oversight to the flock are stressed out! We must acknowledge that “Sheltering in Place” has not resulted in rest, but to the contrary has resulted in more stress and strain than ever before. People are stretched to the max persistently worried about their finances, paying the mortgage, making ends meets, putting food on the table, worried sick about tomorrow, endlessly wondering if things would ever get back to normal. In addition to all that winter fast approaches. For many, it is quickly shaping up into a winter of despair with more sickness, more pain and even more heartache and more Covid-19. So many are just plain scared!
However, let us always remember that Jesus our glorious Savior specifically forewarned and cautioned us about these very times. He insightfully spoke of “Men’s hearts failing them for fear looking after those things which are coming upon the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26). He gave us ample warning when He said “… And upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity . . .” (Luke 21:25). Perplexity is being at one’s wits end, not knowing what to do.
Admittedly we are a nation in distress. Covid-19 has humbled us all and brought us under heavy manners and to our knees. Added to all the horrors of Covid-19 there are the complex wildfires now devouring millions of acres of land, damaging the air quality we breathe, exacerbating the respiratory crisis many are already experiencing. Not to mention the floods and hurricanes! It all seems to be unraveling. These are all compounded by our own extenuating personal dilemmas and crises of ill-health and other domestic issues – Distress!
The Psalmist however hastens to inform us that God will answer and bring us into a large place as we unceasingly call upon Him and trust in His mercy. We are absolutely assured by the eternal Christ that breakthrough and full redemption is on its way as we look up and fail to never give up or in (Luke 21:28). Therefore, we keep looking up and doing exactly as the Psalmist exemplified – “I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me and set me in a large place (Psalm 118:5). Church, always remember the Lord is on your side. We will get through this and will come a much better and more spacious place soon. Yes, the Contemporary English version states it this way – “When I was really hurting, I prayed to the Lord. He answered my prayer and took my worries away.” In distress, He, the Lord, answered me!
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Bishop – Northeast Region
September 26, 2020
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region