We’ve all been tested!
I don’t mean that we’ve all been tested for the Corona Virus, although we would probably feel more relieved and secure if many more of us and our fellow Canadians had been tested!
No, the kind of test I am talking about is different. This unprecedented time has tested us all in relational, social and spiritual ways. Our patience with prolonged isolation requirements has been tested. Our ability to adapt to unimaginable changes has been tested. Our level of trust in governments and health authorities has been tested. Our love for our neighbour has been tested. Our confidence in a return to a “normal” life has been tested. Our mechanism for coping with fear that we or our loved ones might become infected has been tested. Our hope and trust in God has been tested.
This experience of being tested every day is a huge weight on our minds and hearts. It reminds me of Psalm 66 which describes unimaginable suffering and stress, trials and tests that the writer has experienced. He says that God has been testing him. Now, while I believe that there are times when God puts our faith to the test, we must be very careful not to conclude that this pandemic has been caused by God as a means of testing us. Blaming God for bad things is a dangerous temptation and it can lead to despair and loss of hope. But what I see in Psalm 66 is a solid reason for faith and hope. Verse 12 says, “…We went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
I love that. In this time when we are told to leave space between ourselves and others, and often there is not enough space to stay at a safe distance, I am delighted by this image of “a spacious place.” Not just an open physical space, but a spacious place where our bodies and hearts and minds and souls can jump for joy, and dance to the music of love, and find peace, calm, rest and joy. God brought the psalm writer out of stress and fear and suffering into such a spacious place.
So I conclude this series of meditations with a prayer that God will bring you out of this dark and difficult time of testing into a bright and spacious place, a place of abiding trust in God’s steadfast love and grace. May you all be safe and strong under God’s canopy of love.