December 14, 2020

Psalm 98:4, 6

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;

break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

…With trumpets and the sound of the horn

make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!

 

Do you have the “Covid Ugh?”

Living in a worldwide pandemic is a new and challenging experience for all of us. And while most of us are still working hard to avoid catching Covid-19, there is unfortunately another “disease” (so to speak) that is infecting people at even higher rates: It’s called the “Covid Ugh.”

At a recent Community Group bonfire, one of our Grace members was trying to describe the spiritual heaviness she’s been fighting, and she aptly named it the “Covid Ugh.” It’s the name of that shadow, that cloud, that always-in-my-face negative thing that seems to hang over every aspect of our lives in 2020. See, not only do we have to deal with the potential of the actual illness itself, but it also comes with the magnified stress of great sadness, fear, restrictions, losses, disappointments, anger, disagreements, and so on. I could come up with more reasons for stress. So could you! We all know it. It’s the fight every single one of us is facing, every single day.

So what is the antidote for the “Ugh?” What’s the one thing God can bring us to lift us from such malaise? How about this: Joy!  

In our passage today we are urged to choose joy, to “break forth” into joyous song, to actively choose joy in our lives. Why does the Psalmist encourage us like this? Maybe it’s because we simply and desperately just need to. Life in this broken world under the normal weight of sin and sorrow is already difficult enough. Now we’re bearing the weight of the pandemic as well? It is potentially a spiritually crushing time. 

Thanks be to God that Christmas is a time we celebrate Him bringing joy to the world! Thanks be to God He has “made known His salvation” to a world desperately in need of it! His loving hands are extended to all of us, to save us from our sin, our sorrow and our separation. Joy is there for us to freely take. Will we receive it?

Is the “Covid Ugh” dragging you down today? Let’s ask God to lift us up anew in joy! And, let’s ask Him to reveal His deep love and amazing grace in us, again or for the very first time. Lord, help us walk in joy today!

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