With the order of government officials to follow the enhanced community quarantine, and the pleas of frontliners and medical personnel to stay at home, people are resorting to a lot of things to occupy the mind. Some are reading, some are into binge-watching, some are gardening, some are browsing the Internet and social media, some are taking pictures and videos.
Indeed, aside from the deadly threat of COVID-19 novel coronavirus, another threat is on maintaining sanity. There are panic buying in some countries, some have inefficient government services, and some are still apathetic. But slowly, fear is creeping in. Fear has the ability to cripple us.
In Psalm 13, King David wrote some very sorrowful words. What can we learn from this psalm that could help maintain our sanity in these trying times?
First, it is okay to vent our disappointments or anger towards God.
We have this notion that we cannot express what we truly feel towards God. We keep telling ourselves not to question God. But David, in this psalm and in many of his psalms, is teaching us that God can accept whatever we vent out. Venting what is in our minds and in our hearts will help us maintain our sanity.
David wrote what he felt. It was a great release for him to write down these complaints – “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
In these difficult times, Psalm 13 is encouraging us to vent what we feel towards God. Try it. It is liberating.
Second, we must hold on to God’s unfailing love for this will surely come to pass.
David was able to hold on to God because of what happened in the past. History was on the side of God. In spite of what was happening in the life of David during the time that he wrote Psalm 13, he was comforted by his trust in God’s unfailing love because God has already proven it to him. David probably remembered how a shepherd boy defeated the giant Goliath, or how he became a king. And when he reviewed his past, he began to sing God’s goodness.
So another recipe given by David to us to maintain our sanity in these difficult times is to look back in the past and count how many times God has been faithful to us. When we do that, it will surely strengthen our trust in God. We will someday look back and say, God was with us during the pandemic.
Let us continue to hold on to God. May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on