Have you ever run across someone who gets under your skin? In other words, whether it is their tone, comments, or behavior, something about them is irritating, and that irascibility is continuous and annoying. I met such a person playing pickleball. In this case, an older man seems to feel that he needs to tutor everyone else on the court even though his skills are inferior. He makes snarky comments, and I don’t like it. It gets to the point where when he signs up to play, others stay away because they don’t enjoy playing with him. Unfortunately, he does not seem to take hints or suggestions. He is fixed in his mannerisms and perhaps does not care what others think. So, I have to admit I was not thrilled when I read Romans 15:1,2 this morning.
Exodus 17:6—“I am going to stand there in front of you on the rock at Horeb; when you hit the rock, water will come out of it and the people will drink.” Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.
It will go down in history as perhaps mankind’s most bizarre year. Never has the entire globe in unison shut down because of a virus. Restrictions in travel, work, recreation, size of gatherings etc., have ruined businesses, increased the number of suicides and deaths for those with other ailments who cannot be hospitalized, amped fear to unprecedented levels, and created a huge divide in opinion over what should or should not be done. Meanwhile political unrest, rolling waves of violence, storms and disasters add to the cacophony of 2020.
Ten times the word despair is used in the Holman Bible. Fittingly Job is the source of one third of them. The Psalmist cried out, “Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one” (Psa. 69:20). Despair is the stuff of hopelessness. It is a sinking feeling that saps one’s resolve. If not properly addressed it becomes the lingering glue of gloom.