“Fill my cup, Lord. I lift it up, Lord.” Songwriter Richard Blanchard Sr. popularized these lines in the 1970s and they still echo true many years later.
Yes, although some things appear to have been taken away or at least reduced due to our national (and international) novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, a great deal still remains with us, revealing the goodness of Almighty God even in the midst of a pervasive sense of personal loss.
Yes, there is an encompassing sadness, not the least of which is a longing for when it all shall be over, that normality might resume. This minister is reminded of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s historic address to Parliament in 1940 following the Battle of Britain: “Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Sadly, many precious souls have been lost to the coronavirus. Yet, we who remain — “fighting the good fight” as the Apostle Paul, who was no stranger to personal adversity, would declare in II Timothy 4:7 — have plenty of time to practice our religious strongholds ... fortified with grace, mercy, pardon, faith, hope and love to confidently hold on to and even to share with others in our uncertain future!
PLENTY OF GRACE: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency for all things, may abound until every good work” (II Corinthians 9:8)
PLENTY OF MERCY: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” (Psalm 103:8)
PLENTY OF PARDON: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)
PLENTY OF FAITH: “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and then when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32)
PLENTY OF HOPE: “For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear; O Lord my God.” (Psalm 38:15)
PLENTY OF LOVE: “And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Corinthians 13:13).
The Rev. Nathan M. Ware is pastor at Depews Chapel United Methodist Church in Kingsport.