I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. -Psalm 27:13
In these uncertain days, I find myself connecting with the Psalms more deeply than ever before. All of a sudden, the sense of loneliness, isolation, despair, and sorrow they often convey does not seem so far off as it once did. The pleas to God for rescue and nearness feel timely and urgent.
This morning, as I read through Psalm 27, I found myself wondering “Where have I seen the goodness of the Lord lately?” It didn’t take long to compile a lengthy mental list: a friend’s baby discharged from the hospital, the cardinal couple that plays in our yard everyday, video chats with faraway friends, smiling pictures of my nephews showing off their elaborate crafts, flowers blooming all over town, the menagerie of little critters making their home on my back patio. I was struck that though these days feel heavy, I am surrounded by all this evidence, large and small, of the goodness of God.
Historian Kate Bowler recently remarked that in Lent we are given permission to lay down the burden of striving for some sort of all encompassing joy. Instead, we can be on the lookout for the tiniest moments of joy and let the weight of all those tiny moments add up to something bigger. We see a new sprout on a tree, hear a baby’s laugh, smell chocolate chip cookies in the oven, and we pause to soak them in. As we journey through the rest of Lent and Coronatide together, this is the practice I want to adopt: looking out for the tiny joys and letting the accumulated weight of them surprise me with God’s goodness. Will you join me?
Written by Jessica Means