To my mind and apparently the minds of many others, these are dark days for our country—politically, economically, and spiritually. It seems our way of life as well as our freedoms are threatened more and more every day. I find myself tempted to wring my hands and pull my hair, muttering, “What to do? What to do?” Don’t you?
Well, STOP (and please remind me if you see me succumb)!
First, this is not our forever home. Think about that—breathe it in. Our eternal existence is not dependent on our saving this world, this country, or this government. Remember our church fathers? Even Jesus’ very disciples existed in a world full of slavery, religious oppression, political oppression, and nonexistent or bad plumbing! They were a mess. Yet, in the midst of that mess, in fact in prison himself, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
Second, it is not our job to save the world! Jesus has already accomplished salvation for those whom the Father has given to Him(John 17), all we are charged with doing is sharing it, discipling those who receive Him and endeavoring to travel the path of righteousness (cross-carrying/dying to sins… NOT comfortable, but filled with His peace, His joy), for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3b)
Finally, remember those Israelites—the ones who were slaves in Egypt for forever, rescued by God, then living in tents in the desert for 40 years before finally managing to move into their new home (that makes my two month wait for a house in a hotel room with seven people look like an awesome vacation). That poor group of people finally got their dream home only to lose it later because they stopped following God’s heart and ended up in exile/slavery again. Well, I found it interesting that in the midst of their troubles, they finally got permission (permission from the pagan king who held them captive) that they could rebuild the house of the Lord. “And they sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, ‘For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.’ And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.” (Ezra 3:11) They were not comfortable, they were not free, they were not sure of anything really (and even the temple rebuild had setbacks); regardless of their worldly difficulties, they shouted, “God is Good! His lovingkindness is upon us forever!” Today, right here in the mess we are in, He is still faithful, good, and full of lovingkindness for us. Rejoice, dear sister, rejoice in the Lord!
Running with you,