Coronavirus, Psalm 131, And The Faithful Father

by Gail Emerson April 20, 2020

“Help me with my helmet?” Haddon asks as I stare blankly into a sea of disorganized items in our garage. 

I fasten the buckle at his chin. His round cheeks press tightly against the strap. He is growing into a strong boy. But he hasn’t lost his baby face yet. 

He is wildly happy because after a few days of rain, we are finally taking a walk. We embark down the bike path until we reach the pedestrian crossing. 

“Don’t touch the button! GERMS!” I quickly say as I dig my elbow into the call button at the crosswalk to avoid using my hands. 

“Why I’m not in school? Is it germs? Is it the sickness?”  

I inwardly kick myself. My panic about germs clearly caused him to think about this too. 

It’s already hit pretty close to us. The virus made its way into our school system, impacting a few staff members at several schools. The kids’ principal is infected. Sadly, a teacher in our county died. 

“Yes,” I answer. 

His question now rapidly fades from his attention. As soon as we cross he swiftly peddles ahead on his scooter. He is unaware of what all this means. 

Each day we are faced with graphs of lines that only go up. We are shown future projections—of cases, deaths, jobs, and the economy. Most of us consume a daily diet of the latest news. We want to know what will happen next. There is such uncertainty. 

I’m reminded of Psalm 131: 

“O Lord my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high. I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.” Psalm 131:1-2 

Haddon doesn’t understand the chaos in our world and all the ramifications it entails. He doesn't go to bed worried that his parents might not take care of him the next day. He knows when he awakes, he will be provided for. He rests in our faithfulness to him. Global pandemic or not, he knows that his mommy and daddy love him. He knows we’re going to care for him. 

Similarly, David, the author of this Psalm, expresses a childlike faith. There were many times when he needed to trust God. We don’t know which circumstances he might be thinking of here. But it seems he's personally experienced God’s steadfast Fatherly care. So much so, he’s resting in it like a calmed child. 

Unlike my mothering, God’s faithfulness is holy and perfect. It’s rooted primarily in His character. For us, we have a vantage point David didn’t have: We can trust God because He’s supplied our greatest need through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  

How severe will this crisis be? I don’t know. But we don’t have to figure it out—thinking of things too lofty for us. All we need to know is that whatever happens, God loves us. He’s going to care for us.  

Most days, Haddon sweetly nestles close to me while I read a large stack of books to him. In these moments, he is quiet, still and content. 

He doesn’t know it. But his mom is taking notes. I’m learning from him how to trust in my Heavenly Father. 

“O Israel put your hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore.” Psalm 131:3