We’ve been in a pandemic twilight zone for 5 months now with an underlying condition just as frightening of racial unrest and increasing uncertainty in our world we call home. Life seems out of control. Grasping for hope. No rest for the weary. Clouds of differences clashing into relentless storms.
My emotions are wearing thin.
It seems everything has turned sideways and no one has been able to right the ship. There’s a deep divide in leadership from the top of the hill to the muddy bottom.
Many of those who say they follow Jesus and His ways also seem to be digging their own trenches and staking out their position on one side or the other. There’s Truth and then there’s your truth …or my truth.
Somewhere along the line, it’s what you love the most that becomes the foundation for what you believe to be true.
“Belief is far more influenced by what we LOVE than what we SEE…by what we WANT than what we SEE. We will struggle to believe anything that threatens what we love. …There will never be enough evidence for what you don’t want to believe.”Roger Martin, Jr.
And the love of many seems to be growing cold and my heart is grieving in the pain of it all.
Constraints mandated due to Covid19 have kept me from being able to be with our children and grandchildren. That alone has caused this Mama to spiral into deep sadness many-a-day from the separation; however, the chaos of the world we live in has deepened that to levels of despair I didn’t know existed.
I’ve never read the book but the title alone– from a Francis Schaeffer book, “How Should We Then Live?” — kept coming to mind. How am I supposed to live in this unrest and chaos? What if this is the beginning of birth pangs ushering in the last days as foretold in the Bible? What should be my greatest focus? On this side of heaven, will I ever get to see our kids and grands again? How can I live through this deep sadness? Or maybe the biggest question — “How should I live?
That’s when I have to go to my Source of strength — the place where I can find the ultimate truth …the bottom line of reality.
Isaiah 58 has been a mooring for me. It’s my “what-to-do-when-you-don’t-know-what-to-do” go-to text.
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.”
Isaiah 58:6-12 (NLT)
These words are strong reminders of what really matters to God. Free the oppressed and those wrongfully imprisoned. Lighten the burden others are carrying. Give food and shelter to those in in need. Reconcile your differences with your relatives. Stop being a brat and pointing fingers at others. Restore homes. Rebuild cities. Keep doing good. Be the light God has called us to be in this present darkness while there is still time.
We may not have much time left before God rolls up earth’s carpet for that final day of reckoning. It’s all about making TODAY count …finishing well–not freaking out. Lending a hand and sharing our stuff …instead of hoarding and hiding.
It’s about being another voice calling out in this crazy wilderness experience, “…prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Be who God made you to be. Love deeply. Encourage and let the Spirit’s presence in you shine a light to others as you go about your normal, every-day living.
Spread the Good News of Jesus wherever you can. And remember, it’s not as much about leading someone down a “Road” or making sure they understand the “Four Spiritual Laws” as it is sharing your own bumpy, lumpy road and how God met you along the way with Living Water to quench your thirsty soul.
This is not a time to shrink back but spread out a welcome mat to call as many home to the Father as we can.
I’m still asking for the best path for me each day and I’m sure this little post is just the beginning. We have so much more to talk about. Until next time, I’ll leave you with these encouraging words of Emily P. Freeman –shared in her June newsletter.
“I really do believe that God is not doing away with all the old things in order to make new things, but instead is actively working to make all things new. God is not wiping us out. God is making us new. And we have a part to play.”
She goes on to say, “The best thing that could happen …is that I would continue to wake up to my own part in the renewing of all things – beauty in my work, hope in my family, justice in my city, true rest in my vacation. In all things, hope.”Emily P. Freeman