I pray you are well and you are embracing your new season. Live out loud the truth found in Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Message Bible): “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no weekend war that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
“I never thought I would live to see the day.” Lately, in our country’s present and not-so-distant past, I find myself repeatedly saying these words. One tragedy after another, one heinous statement after another, one injustice after another, leaves me wounded in these United States of America. Most look to some form of respected leadership for answers and guidance during tumultuous times. Unfortunately, I, as well as others, are finding disappointment in touted leaders whose influence goes no further than a photo-op and witty social media post.
The persistent turmoil in our nation requires much more than what we have offered as a response. It requires a courageous confession, earnest prayer, patience, obedience to God, and openness to a movement that refuses all manner of injustice and embraces peace.
In our most difficult moments when we wrestle with the impossible, we must muster the strength to plead the words of Psalm 5:1-7,
“Hear my words, Lord! Consider my groans! Pay attention to the sound of my cries, my king and my God, because I am praying to you! Lord, in the morning you hear my voice. In the morning I lay it all out before you. Then I wait expectantly. Because you aren’t a God who enjoys wickedness; evil doesn’t live with you. Arrogant people won’t last long in your sight; you hate all evildoers; you destroy liars. The Lord despises people who are violent and dishonest. But me? I will enter your house because of your abundant, faithful love; I will bow down at your holy temple, honoring you.”
Give yourself permission to hang on to hope. Leave room in your heart to trust God no matter what it looks like. A glorious new day is in view where God is lifted high. It is so.
“So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” – Romans 8:31
I wept today. Hard. I wept after experiencing the manifestation of God’s goodness during a season of pressing. In this instance of goodness, God reached down from heaven and placed an unwrapped gift before me to open. As soon as I opened this unexpected gift, I could not refuse what was overtaking my heart, and I could not stop my tears. It wasn’t silver; it wasn’t gold. It was God’s response to my prayers, praise, service, and sacrifice to Him! God heard my faintest cry, and He answered! He came to see about me in the midst of my pressing, and He encouraged my heart. He continues to prove Himself over and over again! That’s why I love Him. That’s why I trust Him to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask or think. There’s nobody like God! I invite you to commit your life to Him today.
“If I had continued to consume myself with myself and my stuff I would not have had the opportunity to engage with someone else, hear someone’s story, or share in someone else’s emotions.”
I had an interesting conversation with my Uber driver last week. After getting in the car I was intent on sending emails and messages out on unfinished tasks. Until the driver engaged me in a conversation that soon got my full attention. I then engaged him and a few minutes later we were laughing and talking like old acquaintances. We talked about life, the joy of life, death, jobs, family and before I exited the car the devastation in Mexico. Even through his heavy accent I could understand his pain and sadness when I asked him questions about family or friends effected by the earthquake. He shared no family but a friend. He was killed along with 50 others in a building. Only 4 survived. I expressed my condolences and offered my prayers. My heart was touched. If I had continued to consume myself with myself and my stuff I would not have had the opportunity to engage with someone else, hear someone’s story, or share in someone else’s emotions. It blessed me tremendously. Upon my exit from the car he thanked me. But I thanked him! He made sure he didn’t leave the curb until I entered the airport and we both waved goodbye. If you have a spare second, please whisper a prayer for Guillermo, his family and his friends.