Read: Exodus 33
Key Verse: "And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The Lord’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy." (Exodus 33:19 NRSV)
Lawd, Lawd, this has been a turbulent season! When the pandemic encroached upon our lives, things were not what they used to be. My agency was considered an essential service, and we were on overload, writing protocols and making contingency plans. We had to comply with the Center for Disease Control’s prevailing regulations, and simultaneously go out and meet the needs of the women and children we serve. Yet as you know, man plans, and God laughs.
In the office, I was sanitizing desks, wiping down counters, and other high-touch places. Wash your hands (who wasn’t?) and avoid touching your face. With only three of us in the agency, each with our own office, there was no problem with social distancing. We were safe; the CDC guidelines said so. I dragged myself to the office one day to finish payroll, feeling very weak from loss of appetite. Yep, you guessed, I contracted Coronavirus and spent 13 days in the hospital. Afterwards, I self-quarantined for 14 days, so the entire month of April 2020 was one ongoing sick day. Where did all the blue skies go?
In our scripture today, we witness the relationship between God and Moses. Moses had the unique experience of being in God’s presence. He spoke, prayed, and pleaded with God on behalf of Israel. God told Moses to go to the land, he promised Abraham, but He would not go with him. God said, “If I go with you, I might destroy you.” There is an interlude in the chapter about Moses’ habit of going into a tent to meet God. As Moses did not comprehend what God was saying, he went back to the tent and prayed for himself and his people. Moses’ supplication to God was to teach him His ways to better serve. God extended His mercy and favor to Moses and added that His Presence would go with them.
So, this Lenten season, while we do not have a tent, we can meditate on God’s word. Each of us will come to know the need for a Savior. Mercy, mercy me, things are just as they should be. Search the scriptures to have God teach us how to serve, to show us how to walk, and to reassure us that His presence is here. My COVID experience taught me that there are green pastures and blue skies in the Lord’s Presence. Scripture reinforces that we have safety and protection in His Presence because He shows mercy to those He chooses to show mercy.
Challenge: This week, Zoom into a Bible study, Wednesday Lenten service, and personal devotion.