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‘In times like these…’

That is a song reminding us life on planet earth has its pitfalls. We need help for our escape. A GPS won’t help. We need a Higher Power to guide us.

Most gardeners have experienced being caught in a spider’s web. We don’t think spiders fly, but this “web designer” seems to be able to fly across the landscape, somehow attaching a line from one side of the yard to the other.

Scientists have studied those powerful strands but still know little about them. The Creator God must have had a purpose for spiders. Job, Solomon and Isaiah all mention them. We know them as predators of insects that become trapped in their web, unable to get out of their clutches, ready to be devoured.

I admit to feeling something of a comparison with our present virus situation. We are experiencing the entanglement from an enzyme of infinitesimal size. It has changed our whole world. In contrast with the millions of people who live on planet earth, it has affected comparatively few, but it was able to bring down all of us. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, is no longer the country we knew when we began this current decade. There is no turning back to what we were like just one year ago. We are not free today. Our lives may not have been static, but now we feel the ground under our feet is shaking. Because of our innocence about the severity being proclaimed, we fear the perpetrator could be hibernating in our body.

In my nine decades of life, I have lived through many major disasters. I don’t recall any time in the past when the demand for adherence to a strict code of rules and conduct governed our every movement. We have been people of law and order, but we have succumbed to the law and order we thought kept us free. We obeyed, but now this germ’s arm of power has been like the spider’s web spun in the night. It hit us when we walked outside expecting to enjoy the fresh air of the early summer morning.

We can no longer do as we please, we must do what we are told, the decisions supposedly for our good. So how do we run the obstacle course and win the race when we are confronted with stormy winds and unsettled conditions? How do we conquer anxiety and find peace?

In times like these, I go to the Psalms for guidance. There are so many in which we can find verses that speak to our need.

Psalms 27, 33, 38, 60 are some of those. Psalm 44:22 speaks to me of our human condition. Perhaps we should be crying out to God like the psalmist did in verse 22: “Rise up and help us, save us because of Your unfailing Love.”
One of my favorites is Psalm 37:25, “I have been young and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.” I have lived by faith in God’s supply and found the God Who created this world and all that is in it was already present in my time of need.

He will be there when we agree to living by His rules and acknowledge our need for His help.

Myrtle Virginia Thompson, 92, is a retired missionary, educator, Bible teacher and writer. Contact her at mvtgrt@gmail.com.