Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
Psalms 80:3-4 ESV
This needs to be our prayer. We need God’s restoration. I love the illustration of His smiling face as the sunshine, through which we are saved from death! Even if we can’t see the sun shine, its light illuminates us and gives us life.
A lot of people assume Jesus is going to have a frown on His face when He meets us in glory, or His head in His hands! But our acceptability to Him is not based upon our performance (thankfully!). We’re accepted in Him and clothed in His goodness.
I like how the Message paraphrase describes “Lord God of hosts” as the God of the angel armies, because that is what it means and who He is. If one angel could stay the plague, imagine what millions could do- and God is infinitely more powerful than them all. He’s able to do more than we ask or even imagine!
It might seem like God is angry with His people’s prayers, because I trust we’re all praying for an end to this plague. But God always has a purpose in the pain, like when perfect Jesus died on the cross for our sins. So we are to take up our crosses and deny ourselves and follow Him.
“God of the angel armies, please help us to trust You to work Your purposes out, even if we cannot see the end from the beginning. Thank You that You do all things well, may we acknowledge that even in the midst of suffering, for Jesus’ sake, amen”