In the midst of what can seem like ever increasing storms across the earth it may well seem that everything is being shaken. Storms assail every area of the globe including the little plot where each of us may live and they have come in many forms leaving us weary and wondering when it will end.
For some the longing for an end, a solution has been delayed too long. The persons, companies, political leaders, doctors, governments, clergy, and others in a list whom they believed and trusted have disappointed them. As a result, some have chosen to leave this life by his or her own hand for lack of hope. Others have chosen to escape by any means possible and others still continue to try to “live in a dream world” as if nothing is really all that bad.
Our tolerance for living in the midst of uncertainty was never very great and it has diminished in recent months. We assume we are waiting on someone or something to “make it all better” for us, but what if we have it backwards? What if God is waiting on us to awaken from our stupor created from being caught up in this life so we can discover He is waiting on us?
Waiting on us? How can that be?
We have exhausted ourselves looking for solutions from other frail mortals like us, talking to each other, listening to news we either want to hear or that those who dispense the “news” want us to hear. Over time we have been fed with things that have eroded our hope and even if believing in God, have failed to talk with Him as much as others and not sought to quiet the “noise” of all around us so we can hear Him.
One day this week as I was caught up in too many things that were weighing me down, I sensed a clear whisper in my heart that brought clarity to the path I seek. It was a verse the Lord brought to mind and echoed through every part of my being as He brought it to mind.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”Psalm 20:7 (NIV)
Perhaps the Lord is trying to awaken us to our temptation to do that in this current time. News sources have been conflicting, experts’ opinions have varied, and each has created a swirling melee inside of us that seems to be unable to be relieved.
Perhaps the Lord is trying to awaken us to see the unseen warfare that is intensifying around the world, to be alert to the evil that is drawing our attention off course and dividing us within and without. Shut up from a pandemic that does not relent its pursuit of us, we may have missed what has been nibbling at the hope we have and the foundation we are to stand on.
We are missing the bigger perspective. Maybe if we could see more of the whole thing, the pattern might become clearer. Then we might see that the upheaval is not just in our own neighborhood or nation but is widespread in different places around the earth. In the midst of it the warning of Isaiah comes to mind:
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.Isaiah 5:20 (NIV)
Have we gotten turned around to a point where we have confused evil and good, light and darkness, ascribing those words to one human as compared to another, one cause compared to another? The Bible points to the truth that in “the last days” such confusion will exist on the earth. Only God knows when “the last” of “the last days” will be accomplished, but we are nearer than we once were and our wearied hearts, minds, and spirits remind us of the words echoing through J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy of The Lord of the Rings that call us to be on the alert, to stand, and not to be seduced by the ring of power that we believe will give us what we need.
Centuries upon centuries prove that power always pulls humankind off course and works corruption as it seduces us to believe we will use it for good (or that others will). It has been so since one of the chief angels of heaven lusted for power and caused the fallen world we live in but were never designed for.
Our eyes must be trained to focus on the spiritual while being alert to the world we live in that assails us each moment. It requires discipline to shut off those things, people, programs, news, and more that detract us from the position we are called to stand in based on biblical principles and values rather than use a secularized lens to which we may have succumbed.
In the end justice will prevail because God’s righteousness will require it.
It is not time for “business as usual” in any of our lives. We are called to endure, to stand, to discern when to be silent and when to speak and to remember the words of Psalm 37 which begins as follows:
“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.”Psalm 37:1-2 (NIV)
But I would encourage you to read it in total because of the way it harnesses us to the truth on which we need to stand. Many verses later this priceless Psalm ends with these two verses:
“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.”Psalm 37: 39-40 (NIV)
God started the story.
He knows the ending because He has written it and He and those who trust in Him win.