2020 has taken a toll on all of us. I think all of us feel the heavy weight of it. But as long as there is God, there is hope. There is future. There is purpose. There is blessing. He lives and reigns forever and ever. He gives strength to the weak and hope to the hopeless.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:5
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 62:5-6
Lately, I have been seeing exciting things happening around me. New babies being born, people falling in love, getting engaged and married. Creativity abounding. Love renewing and strengthening through hardship and trials. All blessings from God above. His way of showing us that there is hope, there is a future.
“Let yourself believe in great things – God is in the habit of making them happen.” – Anonymous
It happened seemingly all at once. The sky darkened, the wind pushed the tree limbs horizontal, cold rain slashed the windows, howls screeched around our almost 100 year old house. Quick fear, followed by a quick prayer. The verse that brings so much peace came to mind….Be still and know that I am God.
These days of 2020 have produced so much panic and change, that even a benign cold front can make me freak out for a moment. But God. But God. That is what keeps me going, keeps me stable, keeps me at peace. He never changes or panics or leaves. He is God. I just have to be still.
Moments later, the sun is out, the rain has stopped. All is well.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” – Jesus, Luke 21:34-36
I am praying, not as much as I should, please have mercy on me, Lord Jesus.
I am watching, not as much as I should, please have mercy on me Lord Jesus.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:23
Turning my eyes away from this world and onto God is hard, yet becoming increasingly easy. I don’t want to see the things that try their best to bring terror to my heart through the news reel. I want to focus on my family’s faces, feel their hugs, hear their voices. Enjoy quiet times together in the family room. I want to read Jesus’ words, because he always knows just what to say and how to say it. I want to focus on the things to come, the things of God, the things of heaven, the things that matter.
Double Top mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains lies very close to our home. It stands there as a protective and reassuring figure of strength and resilience. The mountain looms large, beautiful, sometimes foreboding.
But yesterday, my daughter and I were driving in a neighboring county and saw the Blue Ridge mountains, stretching out in a long chain, ringing around our county and beyond. Absolutely beautiful, and altogether different.
There is beauty in the things we see close up and personal, things we touch and see and hear and interact with daily.
There is also beauty in things we step back from and try to see from a different and more remote perspective.
As I negotiate, try to rationalize, and grapple with the constant turbulent emotions of 2020, I realize that God used those mountains yesterday to remind me to step back. To try and see things, as best I can in this finite and limited body, with a more eternal perspective. This is not my permanent home. Someday very soon I believe, we will see Him as He is. We will be in a place where all is made new, made right. I am trying this morning to fix my eyes on Jesus, the best thing in this life that I can ever see.