The message in the storm


By Pastor Nitos Dobles - Your pastor speaks



To the Leader: According to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

For God alone my soul waits in silence;

from him comes my salvation.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,

will you batter your victim, all of you,

as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?

Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.

They take pleasure in falsehood;

they bless with their mouths,

but inwardly they curse. Selah

For God alone my soul waits in silence,

for my hope is from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honor;

my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah

Psalm 62

Do you sing in the shower?

Do you take your time, enjoy it, and sing?

Singing in the shower reveals one’s character.

They say that when the heavy downpour, the storm, comes, they are the same folks who manage to sing. Incredibly, they are able to sing of God – of how great he is even when life seems to go against them.

Hmmm, will you be able to sing of Him when the world spits on you? Can you sing even when it seems that God has forgotten you?

You might be able to find an answer to this question as we take a look at Psalm 62.

When King David wrote this passage, he must have recalled something extremely difficult that he had experienced in his life – that time when he was besieged by the armies of King Saul who wanted him dead!

As I thought of this problem in our text, I could not help but be reminded of the problem in the world that we are now facing. We are similarly besieged. There’s a global disease that is after us and those whom we love, a disease that drastically changed the way we live. We are under attack by an enemy called COVID-19. And it wants us dead!

Could you sing in the midst of this crisis? Would you?

It looks like someone could, and would! To be able to sing in the face of crisis is a grace from God as the bible passage would show us. Let’s take a look…

“For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David” — this is the title of Psalm 62. It suggests that David wanted the song to be put to music by Jeduthun. Who’s he? Jeduthun is the choir director of the Holy Temple and King David wanted him to let the choir sing his composition.

Not only the ability to sing in the midst of a calamity is grace here, but it is also the message of the song that God has put in the heart of the songwriter — to trust in God no matter what! The song reminds us that defeat is not in the vocabulary of God; He will save us!

Archie Williams was wrongly incarcerated for raping and stabbing a woman to death. He spent 37 years at the Angola State Penitentiary, which they say is the bloodiest U.S. prison. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, months to years and years to decades. “Nightmare” is not enough to describe what Archie experienced. As he was narrating his story, he couldn’t help it but cry. Yet he was quoted in saying that the prison is for the body, but he was free in his mind; and in that freedom, he prayed and sang!

Because of the new DNA-testing technology, it was discovered that it was a serial rapist who perpetrated the crime. On March 21, 2019, Archie was set free. He auditioned for America’s Got Talent 2020, and he got in. The crowd cheered and roared as he sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”

The Lord vindicated Archie Williams, and he sang of it!

(Just between you and me: I clapped, and I cried, and I sang to God at this juncture in my writing of this article. I imagine your soul is doing the same. Don’t hold back!)

Well, here’s another grace. Right after the fourth verse, the psalmist added the word “Selah.” A Selah, bible scholars claim, is an interlude in the song, a brief pause – a time to breathe.

Wow, right? “Selah” is placed right after the Psalmist has enumerated his pain and sorrow, his fears and troubles.

I see divine wisdom here, something that you might consider doing especially in these uncertain and painful times.

I was laid off … breathe.

I lost loved ones and friends to COVID-19 … cry … breathe.

This pandemic has bored me to death … breathe.

Because of corona virus, I am deprived of so many good things in life, and all that I worked hard for are going down the drain … breathe.

Church buildings are closed; we cannot worship face-to face, bummer! … breathe.

Breathe…and ponder on life’s lessons and on the seemingly invisible blessings; you might discover one or two that will make you smile.

Breathe…and seriously think about what you really want to chase after in life. Are you considering going after those of God, the good and permanent things in life?

God’s people, could this season be a Selah, a break that God is graciously giving us? It’s a long one yes – perhaps it’s meant to be that we might finally be compelled to take time to really, and deeply, reflect.

While David could have been resentful, while he could have held a grudge, while he could have been depressed and remained fearful, frustrated, burdened and anguished, he instead chose to be free from all that’s pulling him down.

He chose God! And in God alone, he trusted.

But that’s David, we might say. I still feel low and miserable. I still have this lingering resentment in my heart.

Selah. Let’s re-assess life.

Is it the end of the world? Pause, breathe.

Recall: Weren’t there more joys and blessings in your life than sorrows?

Ask: Are you chasing after the things that are worth dying for?

Selah. Let’s evaluate the soul.

Look within: Is there something missing that you couldn’t figure out that’s pulling you down?

Look closer: Do you plan of going back to the same ol’-same ol’ life that you had — a life centered on the self and on your problems?

Look deeper: Do you keep on running, and fighting and striving, yet finding no meaning and fulfillment at all?

Selah. Run no more. God is chasing after you. Let Him catch you!

Breathe…enjoy the moment. I believe that God gave us this gift of Selah that we may discover what is truly important: that it’s not about who you are, or what you’ve been through, but that it is the loving and gracious God who through the storm has carried you!

Selah. Like the Psalmist, like David and his choir, sing of the Rock of your Salvation!

Could this be the message in the storm?

The Psalmist sang:

Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah

Sing with him. Yes, breathe … and sing once more!

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By Pastor Nitos Dobles

Your pastor speaks

The writer is the lead pastor at Pasco United Methodist Church. He is a doctor of ministry student at United Theological Seminary. He also preaches at the First Fil-Am Christian Fellowship at 5 p.m. on Sundays. He and his wife, Apple, and their three children, Betina, Athena and Nathan, live in Englewood, Ohio.

The writer is the lead pastor at Pasco United Methodist Church. He is a doctor of ministry student at United Theological Seminary. He also preaches at the First Fil-Am Christian Fellowship at 5 p.m. on Sundays. He and his wife, Apple, and their three children, Betina, Athena and Nathan, live in Englewood, Ohio.