Help, LORD. Psalm 12:1
Receiving unwanted news, even bad news is never easy. Nor welcome. How does one prepare for such times? Honestly, by walking in faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), because we cannot prepare for everything nor brace ourselves for all.
In talking with a group of women the other day, the conversation drifted to preparing for the worst, stock piling and the like. I am not sure where you fall in this camp, but Y2K is over; I learned a lesson from that. Selling the family home, moving out to the country and storing pounds of grain was done by many friends. My husband and I scratched our heads when this played out. We were even criticized in 1999, yelled at actually, for bringing another child into this uncertain time (I was 6 months pregnant at the time).
My comment in yesterday’s conversation was that we have got to walk by faith, not by sight. If we walked by everything we saw a few things (among many others) would happen:
#1 Our faith would be on self, not God
#2 We’d spend an exorbitant amount of time on managing stuff rather than managing God’s Word going into our minds
#3 Our focus would be on the world’s standards, habits and ways
When Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, it was a time of great tumult, strife, oppression, Roman rule. People were honestly struggling to stay afloat – especially Christians who became the persecuted bunch, just for entertainment. Paul wrote to encourage the Corinthians to keep their eyes on Jesus and not the world around them.
The same holds true for us. If I were to daily consume the morning and evening news, I would find myself scared, fearful, stockpiling, anxious. I would question authority, rely on self and mankind, and wonder about God’s ability to control circumstances.
Not a great formula for living in Christ, let alone a peaceful existence.
Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
I am told to not worry. I am to cry out, “Help, LORD.” I am to trust my heavenly Father for all things – and this all, means all. All, y’all. There is no end to that all. It encompasses every area of life. Again, Paul wrote these words to a different group of people but the message is the same – pray, walk by faith. Eyes on Jesus.
The beauty of stockpiling our worry onto Jesus is His peace stockpiles onto our hearts and minds. Not the way the world operates – nope. Our world offers anything but peace. But God offers and gives unshakeable peace.
I received some distressing news about my feet this week. For the last few months the news had been hopeful, good and progressive. I, turns out, had wrong thinking. I was picturing myself at the end of my recovery, nearing the finish line. I was beginning to dream about my celebration trip on the Camino de Santiago in 2 years. I was imagining life outside my room, going on walks, kayaking, hiking, backpacking and camping.
I asked Coach if I was nearing the finish line – he matter of factly stated I was in the middle. Ouch.
I had the checkered flag in view. I was taking off the affliction clothing and putting on running gear. I was done. So done. I was corrected instead.
That morning, Wednesday, was spent in tears, the Word, worship, tears, and sobbing. To be in the middle of this 2.5 year affliction when I thought I was at the end? Ummm. Can I jump off this merry-go-round? I wrongly bought the wrong ticket. I just don’t have it in me to keep going; round and round on the same horse, listening to the same stale music. Whine.
Did you know that God is gracious and compassionate? Did you know that He does let us vomit our emotions, but then gives us the love, compassion and grace to clean up the said vomit even helping us with the clean up, and move on? He lets us have our moment and gently leads us to Him where we can fall into His loving embrace.
He points us to Truth – Jesus. He reminds us to pray, instead of worry. He takes our eyes to the Psalms to see gut wrenching circumstances that anchor our hearts because many Psalms start out distressful but end in calm assurance that God hears, sees, is Sovereign, is capable, loves and directs.
Yes, I did receive bad news and I didn’t have to watch the evening news for it. But God, by His grace, allowed conversations to happen in the ensuing 48 hours to remind me that this is not my home, He is in control, I am to walk by sight and I am to cry out, “Help, LORD.” My daily time in the Word has been full of reminders of where I need to put my hope and trust; where I need to put my eyes.
The world offers no hope. However, Jesus is HOPE. By keeping my focus on Him, He comes into view. My affliction blurs and my heart is able to worship my Abba Father.
Yes, it is well with my soul.
O LORD, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm19:14 ) AMEN