Over the last month, I have been soaking in the words of Psalm 103, savouring the richness of its imagery, allowing its comfort to seep deep into my soul.
Psalm 103:8-13 says,
“The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
Nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
Nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is his steadfast love toward those who
As far as the east is from the west,
So far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
I had intentionally chosen this psalm for my meditations because I had hoped to discover the secret to managing my own anger. You see, I’ve always been a “chilli padi”, a fiery individual. My husband confirms that I can go from green (peaceful and calm) to red hot in just a matter of seconds! So this quality of being “slow to anger” has always eluded me! In my efforts to conquer this weakness of mine, I started to memorise this psalm.
But through the days of meditating on it, I began to realise something else that God seemed to be revealing to me. He was showing me the depths of his great mercy and compassion for us as his children. Even when I, (a broken and sinful mother) disciplined my own child, I also often gave them one more chance to do things differently, before the disciplinary action was finally meted out.
How much more, then, would our good, good Father do for us?
I then thought about how the past few years have been a real wake-up call for me. I have shared previously how the pandemic and 2020 was a particularly dark period for me, and that I felt like I went through a time of deep testing, a journey “through the wall”. It now occurred to me that maybe, Covid is God’s merciful way of shaking us up, waking us from our slumber, preparing us for the end times. Covid was just the teaser.
In our Church 2.0 discussions, we have been asking the question: Are we post-COVID ready?
But maybe we should seriously be asking ourselves:
Are we end-times ready?
I don’t know if 2020 was as stark a wake-up call for you, as it was for me. But for all the verses in the bible that talks about how “you will not know the day or hour of [Jesus’] return” (Matt 25:13), don’t you think that God, in his divine mercy and kindness, has given us some pretty obvious signs recently, nudging us towards a keener awareness that certainly, He IS coming again, and soon?
One more chance.
So what will we do about it?
No, I haven’t started doomsday-prepping, nor am I distributing flyers at street corners. But I have started to prepare my heart and get my affairs in order.
I’ve intentionally put myself in a position where I am forced to hold on to my career and possessions more lightly, I’ve started to place a deeper emphasis on doing life-on-life with those that God has put on my path, and most importantly, I’ve created space for God to begin his deeper work within me.
Singapore can really be a place where we get so distracted and consumed by the temptation of affluence and comfort, that we may commit the sin of forgetfulness: forgetting that we are utterly dependent on His goodness and His mercies, forgetting what’s really important in this life, and forgetting our true commission as followers of Jesus.
If you accept that we are already living in the end days, would you take this time to pause, and ask yourself, what baby steps could you take, towards trimming your lamps in expectation of the Bridegroom’s arrival? (Matt 25:1-13)
By sister Cheryl Yap