Peace to my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
When we think of King David and his tumultuous life, we marvel at the depth of his faith: “But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:5-6) Likewise, as we feel the impact of the corona virus rippling around the globe and through every aspect of our lives, we may be shaken with uncertainty about the future. But as we turn to the Word of God, we are reminded not to be surprised. The Bible has stated again and again that the visible world and everything in it are temporary and will be shaken; but the love of our Abba Father is eternal and never changes.
This all-surpassing love of God is the heart of the Book of Psalms, penned by psalmists who experienced this love across all kinds of seasons and circumstances. The Psalms serve as a window in our hearts and souls. Through it, we behold God in his grace and faithfulness. Through it, God showers us with his peace, his joy, and the blessings of his eternal promises. This intimate encounter of God is what we, at SOWIM, pray that you can experience as we spotlight individual psalms via social media and embark on the English translation of our newest release, The Book of Psalms Bible Study Workbook. <
For our sister Cheri, our English translator, the Psalms has been a most beloved book in the Bible since she became a Christian. She shares, “When I joined SOWIM in early March and learned that the next Bible Study Set is going to be on the Book of Psalms, I was so excited! My anticipation grew when I witnessed the sheer thought and care that the user testing team poured into refining the study workbook. As the pandemic binds the world together, I pray that the psalms can become a space of shelter and refuge for us, whether we are weighed down by fatigue or at a loss for words and wisdom amid confusing information.”
It is in this context that the “SOW in Spring” project came into being as our effort to share God’s wisdom and hope with our readers in April to June 2020. Every week, we spotlight selected verses from the Psalms with a link to deeper exegesis on our website. >>Click and Read >>
Cheri continues, “I often share from the psalms with my friends on the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and have witnessed how the Spirit works to bring timely comfort to the children of God. One of my favorites is Psalm 133, which begins with “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (133:1) But I never paused to consider the significance of verse 2, where precious oil is poured on the head of Aaron. At one of our daily devotions as a team, Pastor Susan highlighted this verse, explaining its Hebrew meaning and cultural context. I realized that unity here goes beyond “getting along” but a deeper unity that is paradoxically borne of conflict and hurt, where God’s children choose love and forgiveness, confession and reconciliation, to taste the sweetness and relief in true fellowship in Christ.”
Cheri’s sharing brings to mind the teaching of Jesus in John 13:35: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” These words convicted me so deeply that they grew into a recent sermon I preached on “The Mark of a Christian” < As we walk through and beyond this season of pandemic, may we be an instrument of God’s love and choose to love as God does. As Jesus promises, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Blessings to all who love the LORD – may you experience the abundant blessing and life of hope in Christ!
Co-laboring in Christ,
Rev. Susan Chen
Spring of Water International Ministries: Founder, President, and Lifetime Volunteer