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.
When I feel stuck, confused, hurt, sad, unmotivated….I like to come up with a plan. An action plan. It makes me feel a modicum of control in sometimes uncontrollable situations. It gives me a purpose and a drive to get moving.
What do I do when there is no action plan to be had or found? I have felt that way lately in various situations. Sometimes the problems seem too big or too complicated.
I have been thinking about the verse in Micah 6:8:
“He has showed you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
And what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39:
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “
Love God. Love the people I come in contact with. Be just. Be merciful. Walk humbly with God.
These sound like really good action plans to me. Or action prayers, because I am weak. But He is strong.
This is a hymn attributed to St. Colmcille, a Christian missionary, monk, saint from the sixth century in Ireland. He produced beautifully illuminated scripture manuscripts, established many monasteries in Ireland, and showed the love of Christ to others through his lifelong service.
After some years however, an event occurred which changed the entire direction of his life. The Battle of the Book, a fight resulting from a legal battle over an illuminated manuscript he was accused of copying from another, took place in the valley near the Drumcliffe Monastery. Many died, and Colmcille felt horrible. The weight of sin, the effects of greed and human pride, weighed heavily upon him. He left Ireland and eventually sailed to establish a very influential monastery, Iona, off the coast of Scotland. He used this heartache and remorse to let God use him in a new and mighty way for the rest of his life. Mistakes didn’t mean the end for him. After repentance and prayer, God redirected him and continued to use him.
History has a way of calming me. Somehow, by reading the lives of others who have gone before me, the struggles and challenges they faced, the faith they showed through difficult times, lets me know that nothing is new under the sun. Hard times come, hard times go, but Jesus Christ remains constant and faithful to be with us through all of these times.
Call upon the Name of the Lord. He is the only answer for what you face, what I face. He will answer.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 3:20
“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” – Hebrews 11:16
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.” – Ephesians 2:19
“For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” – Hebrews 13:14
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” – John 14:2
May these verses bring you certainty, peace, and focus. Turn your eyes towards Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.