Yesterday, our province entered Phase 1 of the government’s reopening plan. It allows many businesses to reopen like restaurants (50%) capacity, retail stores, museums, day care, out of school care, hair salons and barbershops and places of worship – all with certain restrictions. We grieved the loss of normalcy when these services shut down. Yet I sense the mood in our town to be one of caution and reserve. I saw no one dancing in the streets. I saw no fireworks.
We enter into a time of new uncertainties. Some are concerned about opening too soon or too much. Those with vulnerable family members wonder if their risk will now increase. Some will still not venture out because of the viruses potential hidden presence. It has me thinking about our greatest loves in life.
What do we/I love most in life – Our family? Nature? Connection? Good health? Our careers? Our kids? Normal life? Yet each one is vulnerable to problems, limitations, contamination, disappointment and pain. The muted response to reopening reminds us of life’s limitations.
So what if we could find something or someone even better than life? In Psalm 63, David writes from a desperate state. He has fled to the desert with a few loyal followers. His own son betrayed him and led a rebellion against him. The nation plunged into civil war. David had lost everything in his life except his own physical body.
He cries out to God from this desperation. Then he writes this remarkable statement. “Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” (Psalm 63:3). David discovered that God’s love was better than everything he had in life. He had a lot. He was king of a powerful middle eastern nation. He had wealth, influence, respect and power. He lost it all.
Yet in the desert he discovered that God’s love was better than life. That’s the benefit of going through wilderness experiences. We can see more clearly. The distractions of the normal bustling of regular life get stripped away. We learn that we don’t find an enduring love in consuming product after product. We don’t experience deep satisfaction of soul in the pursuit of more and more and more. Instead we find a love that is better than life.
So if reopening happens or is happening wherever you live and it’s not super exciting, don’t despair. God’s love is better than even the best that life has to offer. If reopening concerns you, don’t worry. God’s love and concern for you is much greater than life. Let’s go forward into whatever with joy because our deepest spiritual thirst can be satisfied by His love that’s better than life.
“O God – as difficult as this time has been for some of us, I thank you that we can (re)discover your love that is better than life. You have remained despite the disruption in our normal lives. You have seen us through much and we can trust your faithfulness to see us through the days ahead. We praise you for your persevering love that far exceeds everything in life.”