For Such A Time As This

With coronavirus on the rise, panic sends the world reeling into a frenzy. The outbreak of a pandemic has wrapped it’s icy fingers around its corners and countries and nations that man appears to have no control of. If only we would have used our intelligence from the beginning and taken care in the market places and in the handling of wildlife for food, perhaps not going there at all, would have been the starting point for nipping such a viral affliction in the bud. After the swine flu and the bird flu and whatever else came along, We are still slow learners aren’t we?

Perhaps when symptoms surfaced and the COVID -19 shouted loud and clear that it was on the rise and rapidly spreading, travel should have been banned on all fronts. Yet it wasn’t! Instead, the economy shouted “money” and “fun” called, so the world took flight and took sail and went wherever they desired, only some, to find themselves returning home with symptoms that tested positive. So now was the time to quarantine. Let’s place them out of reach for a time, while all those they had already come in contact with, go to their homes, their workplaces, their schools, and their circles of influence to watch still more symptoms surface! Yet, we heard from the media, that officials were doing all they could do to smash this bug and nip it in bud.

Yeah, we sit in our brilliance and our intelligence and yet, we lack so much common sense. Now, our world sits in fear as the numbers rise and the death bell tolls. What should our reaction be to this monster that rages around the world? We tend to choose a side, and either appear complacent for fear of what others will think of us, or we take action and appear paranoid. Friends, God has not lost control, but man has and fear and panic are aggressively on the rise! Recession is looming and disease is rampant and God looks on and pities us in our weak, human and finite frames. I’m so thankful He shows mercy to our pitiful condition and showers unending grace over our downfalls. When we think we’re so smart, we’re not, and when we think we’re in control, we’re not, and when the rubber really meets the road, we try to put on the brakes to stop it but we can’t, because we didn’t try soon enough. We let our selves, our fun, our money and our economy get in the way. We did what we did because we desired it and now we’ve fallen flat on our faces with recessions and lockdowns.

As believers, we need to find peace in this chaos and be a calming, stabilizing and balancing influence, but at the same time, we need to use the brains and the common sense that our loving God gives for such a time as this. Let’s be challenged to cut down the risk of spreading by not travelling or at the very least by quarantining ourselves when returning from excursions to other countries! To naively wait for symptoms to show, is redundant because by then it’s way too late and we’ve already infected with others with our contact.

Canadians are so far, fortunate enough to not have COVID -19 spread too far, but if individuals don’t do their part, use common sense, perhaps stay home and away from crowds, shopping malls, and events, it will spread rapidly and Canada will be sucked into the downward spiral of COVID-19! We can be so thankful for the selfless health workers and all those working around the clock to help the afflicted and try to make them comfortable, but they’re garbed and robed and protected as best they can be. The rest of us? Well, we need to do our part too. If we’re not health care, we need to be strong and refrain from spreading it. How can we be strong in this thing? It doesn’t mean we take on a bull in a china shop mentality and live in denial. Perhaps our strength comes in selflessness, by taking a stand and refusing to do things we so don’t want to give up. Solomon reminds us, ‘If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small’ (Prov. 24:10). Friends, we can’t faint and give up or give in to this thing, nor can we be paranoid and run in fear, however, we have to be smart and strong. Fun things like eating out, drive-throughs, mall shopping, and places where people are in close proximity, in my mind are the breeding grounds for a rampant rise. Who knows who’s been where, who they’ve been in contact with and where those fingers have been that just handed you that cup of coffee so nonchalantly in the drive-through? Yeah, I’ve watched them, hand over coffee cups with fingers all over the drinking spout. It sounds small and kind of crazy but it’s ‘real’ people. Today, the virus is a reality that’s touched down around the globe and it’s a reality where lives are at stake.

As believers, we need not fear or panic. We can rejoice in adversity and be thankful, for we know that all things are Father filtered and beautiful souls we are confident in our Hope of heavenly glory! We need not fear! Yet, at the same time, we can deny ourselves a few things that may be harmful to ourselves or others. To stay away from the fun takes a strong countenance because our frail human nature is to want what we want, and sometimes at all cost. So, wherever we are on the scale today, right now, in this place where we find ourselves, let’s do our part to do all we can to keep this thing on the down-low and stop it! Just me, Just sayin’!

‘If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small’ Proverbs 24:10.

“Rejoice always and pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 18

Peace For The Road

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So there might be a whole lot fear heaped up ahead on the road you travel right now and panic might be driving the motor car and it’s reeling out of chaotic control, heading right to your doorstep. And there it sits heavy on your shoulders, smack dab in the middle of that heap of fear! It’s got you pinned underneath it’s weight and yeah, the old saying that “No news is good news” is really true after all, because just maybe you got news and it wasn’t good! No news was better wasn’t it? And it’s processing in our heads and our hearts right now and it’s a difficult place with hard steps and I wonder what it is it that has caused panic and fear to emerge with such force to make you want to throw in the towel and run fast in the other direction?

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We can’t do it! We can’t run away! We can’t run anywhere and as matter of fact we can’t even walk away because our story is our story and it’s us and it’s ours to deal with. So we can’t make a get-a-way except straight into the outstretched arms of Jesus and step into His peace, even right where we are! You gotta know He’s got this. Your stuff has been Father filtered and even though it’s tough, it has His stamp of approval for this moment, and even though it’s a hard place, He has it and He has your back and He has unlimited grace enough to get you through. So beautiful soul, when the brokenness is harsh and the news is bleak and the pain is unbearable, and the mind can’t focus, rest gently in the nail pierced hands of the Savior, the Sovereign One who knows the pain. Yeah, for sure the One who spoke peace into the vicious storms and calmed the raging waters can and will whisper peace into your panic.

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Mark 4: 38 – 40
“Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”…

John 14: 27
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”


 

Frayed, Frazzled And Victorious


So there’s a whole heap of us weary pilgrims, tired and frayed from the battles of the journey. It’s mind boggling isn’t it how simplicity becomes so complex and small becomes so monstrous and way over the top? Yeah, don’t we know it well? Those times when problems surpass any kind of peace, big time and issues drain us and take our focus from the Truth? So, we’re frayed, frazzled and undone, dumped up on the shoreline like a rotten pile of debris mixed with broken shells, dead fish and seaweed. No, it’s not a pretty sight nor is it a great day when trouble comes knocking and keeps knocking it’s nitty-gritty way, well into the days, weeks, and months of life. Where’s God when you need Him most? Why so silent God? Why no answers God? No confirmations and sometimes not even a promise to ease that tired, restless mind into some sort of peaceful ambiance?

Oh beautiful soul, you can know, He’s there, walkin’ it with you, feelin’ it for you, experiencing it just like you and He’s interceding to His Father just for you and I and we and us. Oh yeah, you can know it. All that brokenness, that shell of brokenness that lies on the shoreline! He’s got that and He’s keeping it in His care as He orchestrates the next perfect step, the next best move, the next wise thought, and the next beautiful repair. Your brokenness is in His care. Your fear is kept in His Trust and your worries? Yeah, they’re carried on His shoulders. So let them go!

The One Sovereign God, gave up His credentials to become like us. To walk among us. To feel the pain of sin and excruciating brokenness. Christ gave up His heavenly crown of royalty, to replace it with one of thorns. It is He who stretched His arms wide across the cross of death for a lost world and you and I and it is He who knows our pain from the inside out. He’s got this, whatever it is that’s got you completely undone. Search Him, Seek Him out! See Him in your broken spaces and broken places and heaps of washed out debris. He makes all things new and He fashions them from broken and nothing, and disappointment. That’s what he does. I love how He does it.

Say with the Psalmist in Psalm 63: 1 – 3, 7
“O God, You are my God; I earnestly search for you. My whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in Your sanctuary and gazed upon Your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You….Because You are my helper, I will sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings.”

What Kind Of Love?


Hebrews 12: 2.

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12: 1, 2.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down. Especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding it’s shame. Now He is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne….

Jesus is our supreme example of faithful endurance and all the brutal, lonely way to the cross He proved it. Not that He had to prove it, but rather it gave Him joy to die for the sinner’s hope of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life.

What kind of love is that? What kind of love endures the hard, lonely, struggle and scorns the shame of it? Only one who has his eyes fixed on His heavenly Father and His will. Christ did it for us, let’s run our own personal race for Him. Let’s face our brutal, lonely challenges for His glory. Life gets tough and quickly weighs us down. If we focus on the problem, we’ll quickly lose heart, fall from the race and succumb to the struggle, but if we focus on the Lord, we’ll find renewed strength. He blesses the life of faith in the believer, so let faith arise! Throw off the doubt, fear, worry, failures, discouragement and strongholds so that you can run freely and smoothly, without entanglement, with your eyes focused clearly on Christ, who runs beside you or carries you but also sits today at the right hand of the throne of God, interceding for you and praying for your endurance to make it to the finish line. You can do it with Him! Focus, focus, focus!