“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow …” (Psalm 23:4).
The “summer that never came” (as I have begun to think of it) will soon be coming to an end. Crowds, concerts, parks, games, vacations - all have been kept at a safe distance as we navigate this pandemic. So odd. So empty. Some days it feels as though we’re walking with David through “the valley of the shadow of death” itself. But take courage, church. David’s defiant words - “Even though” - offer great hope. “Even though” we can’t all be together, yet we can begin to notice and listen to those closest to us as never before, deepening relationships, and giving thanks for the few who are around us. And “even though” we didn’t get to go on that mission trip or make it to church camp, maybe we slowed down just enough to catch a lingering sunset or grow a garden or listen to a mockingbird or take a walk, and, in the process, got our souls back. Yes, “the summer that never came” is coming to an end, but with its passing God is cultivating the seeds of a bold new beginning - an Unstoppable Force - for those who’ve taken advantage of the times, and so today we are praying, Thank You, Lord, for slowing the pace, for calling us back to first things.