Not to us, Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1)
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:13-20)
I’m writing this devotion from the ER where I’m waiting for a bed. There are so many people here who are sick, so many people with stories of their own. Each one has a family that loves them or friends that are worried about them. Each one matters. Each one, whether they know it or not, is made in the image of a God who knows their name.
It’s hard to think about tragedies like this because numbers don’t have faces. But God can do what we can’t. He can see the numbers and he can know the names. He knows where they’ve been and where they’re going. He knew this would begin and he knows how it will end.
That’s the reason he gets to decide. That’s the reason he gets to run the show. He’s the only one qualified. I can’t wield a pandemic to change a society or to call a whole people back to repentance. Only God has that ability.
And I wouldn’t trust him with it but I knew also of his goodness. I have tasted, and seen that the Lord is good. His goodness is seen supremely in Jesus, the Son of God who died so that I might have eternal life. He was raised from dead and is now permanently in human form before the Father interceding in my behalf. He will come again, I know, because his promises are faithful.
Only God can wield these grand measures. Only God can say yes to such severity. Only he is wise. Only he is good. And I trust him.
Father, have mercy. This weight is too great for us to bear. Redeem us, Lord, for you know us by name. Save your people. Remember the waters of baptism and the promises of your covenant. Save us.
In you alone do we trust.