Covid-19: In the Flood with David

How are you doing, ladies?

Whether in Albania, or Jordan, France, the United States, India or elsewhere, we face a common enemy. Not Satan, the biggest enemy, no. This time I write of COVID-19.

Unlike the onset of the tornado that slashed through my community several months ago, no warning sirens scream, except an occasional ambulance. We cannot hunker down in a basement or bathroom and wait for the storm to pass.

Instead, most of us live in worlds shrunken to the size of our houses, apartments and gardens, and possibly our workplaces, isolated from family and friends. And still, like rising water, the enemy slowly floods community after community, country after country, sickening some, killing some.

Most days I go about my business, though using different tools. I teach refugees through YouTube videos instead of in a classroom. I order my groceries instead of perusing the aisles of a store. I insulate myself from the flood.

But at the end of the day when I slip into bed, or when I wake up in the night, I slosh through anxious thoughts. I wade through rising fear. I wonder if one of my grand babies will get sick when there are no more ventilators. Will I lose someone close to me? I think of immigrants and their children detained in close quarters and fear for their well-being.

My husband, the numbers man, processes our predicament much differently than I. “Beth, the odds of dying from this are very small.” Right. Not helpful.

Yesterday I talked with a group of ladies about what emotions flow in and among us. Our feelings varied from calmness to fear, from anger to contentment, from confusion and anxiety to peacefulness and more. One particularly self-aware friend among us admitted to all these feelings. As I thought about it, I had to agree with her. My emotions have splashed among all these extremes.

I’ve been exploring the Psalms and find I am in good company. David felt isolated (Ps. 25:16). He expressed anger (Ps. 58:6-8). Rising fear assailed him (Ps. 34:4-7). He, too, was overwhelmed and begged for deliverance from a flood (Ps. 69:14).

The more I wade into the Psalms, I find a reflection of myself, but I also find high ground. David honestly brought his emotions, his fears and concerns to God. He told God his state of mind without trying to make it sound spiritual, and God lifted him up, out of range of the rising chaos around him so that his meditations focused on God and his character.

So, I dive into the Psalms daily. I linger over a Psalm in the morning. I’ve even got my husband—Mr. Statistic—in on it. At night he reads me a Psalm before bed.

If you are struggling to rise above a flood of emotion, know you have women on this journey with you. And consider wading into the Psalms to meet the One who rescues you with His presence.

The Lord’s shout is heard over the water;

the majestic God thunders,

the Lord appears over the surging water.

The Lord sits enthroned over the engulfing waters,

the Lord sits enthroned as the eternal king.

The Lord gives his people strength;

the Lord grants his people security.

Psalm 29:3, 10-11 (NET)

Photo by Ivan Slade

Beth Barron and her husband have worked cross-culturally for decades, first in the Middle East and now in the U.S. She teaches English to refugees and uses her writing skills to advocate for them. Beth enjoys writing, biking, vegetable gardening and connecting heart to heart with other women. She is involved in her church's External Focus ministry. She and her husband have three adult children, two daughters-in-love and three grandsons. Beth graduated from Rice University in Houston, attended Dallas Theological Seminary and is committed to life-long learning.

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