So today God, just wrap your arms into one big hug for all of us down here. So many of us just need a big heaping dose of what You can give at this moment. For all the tossed, torn, tattered, broken, bruised, and battered, ruined and restless, wearied, wrecked, worn and weathered parts of us today. Yeah, for all of our vulnerable states that we find ourselves in, You alone know how we got there, from beginning to end. You alone are the keeper of our lives, our souls our journeys. You know hearts, concerns, motives, the why’s and wherefores, and in all of our confusion You understand everything!
So after the storms what then God? What then? After the ruin, the loss and the destruction of life itself and it’s surroundings? Yeah, what then? When the storm churns, and our hearts fail us and we grieve our losses. Where do we begin to make things new when we don’t even know what’s broken?
So we turn to our Maker, our Creator, our Grace Giver, our Mercy Giver, our Sustainer, our Provider, our Redeemer, our Saviour, our Care Giver our Life Preserver and our Salvation on the sea of turmoil. You alone God, are Our Deliverer in times of distress, fear, and chaos. When everything goes wrong, and under, You throw us the life jacket and say, “Peace be still” to the storm!
Oh yeah, you and I and we and us, let’s say with the Psalmist in Psalm 55:1 “Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles….Vs. 6 -8 “Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. How quickly would I escape from this wild storm of hatred….ah, but then David chooses to change his focus and trust in His God and in Verse 16, he reminds himself and us when he pens “but I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me. Morning, noon and night I cry out in my distress and the LORD hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me.
David knew all too well the battles of the storms within and without. So ok, God, right now at this moment, give us all a heaping dose of Your sustaining grace laced with mercy for the roads of our lives that we face today. Give us safety on the journeys we find ourselves taking, whatever journey it might be and just like you kept David in his fear, keep us safely tucked in Your care.
John 13: 34, 35.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
As Christ loved and does love, so we must love and accept others unconditionally. It’s been said that pastors and leadership live in a fishbowl, and it’s true as every action is pretty much known by the flock, but really, whether we like it or not, all Christians are transparent. We are watched, sized up and evaluated by other believers as well as non believers. If they don’t like what they see, we quickly get labeled as the hypocrite. What do others see when they view our lifestyle, and our attitude towards others? Evidence of love for others in our lives is far reaching and will affect the way we live our lives. It will affect our behavior, our grace giving, our values, our trust and our attitude. Love is the base of our salvation and is truly evidence of an authentic, true relationship with a God who IS Love.
I’ve been raising Monarchs this season and finding it a delightful past time. This is the first one to emerge from it’s snug chrysalis where it made it’s amazing transformation from Caterpillar to wings. It’s been a beautiful journey so far with these amazing creations that God has given to grace our world.
So a few hours later our first hatchling from the chrysalis was taken outside to dry in the soft breeze. The breeze caught his wings and he took off in a first, unsteady flight and flew right into a spider web. How disappointing and distressing to watch it go down but at the same time, it was a wonderful feeling to come to his rescue. So, carefully loosening him free from the web and brushing off the sticky silk from his feet and face, we ventured over to the butterfly bush where he hid under a few leaves and spent many more hours on sweet, nectar flowers! Later in the day, it was a delight to see him in brilliant, beautiful flight and freedom. No more crawling on the milkweed, but now soaring in the wind with beautiful grace!
What a spectacular journey and transformation from caterpillar to butterfly and yet his unsteady wings of freedom, weren’t even enough. They quickly ushered him into trouble and landed him smack dab in the middle of a dreadful and invisible web of deception. He wasn’t strong enough yet to fight it on his own and without human rescue, he wouldn’t have made it. He would have had to succumb to the entrapment of the deadly web and all just after gaining a new freedom. It makes me wonder how anything survives on it’s own in the wild! It’s also a good reminder of how we need a Saviour to rescue us from the dreadful web of sin. Our unsteady wings of freedom lead us quickly into invisible webs of trouble to quickly entangle us and without a Sovereign God, who is rich in mercy and grace coming to our aid to free us with His awesome and amazing plan of salvation, we too, are entrapped before we ever begin our life journey! We sit wrapped in the sticky pleasures of our selfish desires without any hope of escape! Praise God, He made a way for us to be set free through Christ who came to our rescue! Through the cross, the shed blood and His divine, glorious resurrection and transformation, we too, can be set free in beautiful flight when we seek Him and ask his forgiveness.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
So, was it really so? Did a co – pilot take down the plane? So ~ then no one really knows who’s flying our planes these days, taking who knows who to who knows where ~ or not??? Just sayin’
— feeling confused.
So what do we do with that? This world is so messed up and apparently we can’t trust the pilots, even though they’ve made it through their high quality testing and all security rules and regulations. On board to assist in the flight of a plane and instead take it over and take it down with all passengers in one big explosion! How senseless? How crazy? How would this happen with our strict security regulations of air flight? No answers and never any concrete solutions. Not in this world.
There are no concrete solutions to the abstractness of everything going on around us? It appears the more men try to fix issues and take control the more out of hand it gets. It shakes the very core of our being and strikes fear into our souls. For sure this is a time when we need our faith in God to be a substantial concrete foundation for our fleeting lives; built on the solid rock that can’t move or wash away or change with the winds, or the times. An abstract faith in stuff won’t cut it to give us any sense of peace because possessions are here today and gone tomorrow. They explode in plane crashes, go up in smoke with fires, rust and decay in bad weather. Yeah, maybe they’re fun for a time but without any promise of hope! We need God ~ the One True sovereign God who knows the end from the beginning and knows that the world is the way it is because sin is sin and the world is full of it. The One who knows planes will go down, trains will derail, cars will crash, people will kill, and thieves will steal! The One who knows fires will devastate, tsunamis will flood, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes will destroy! He knows all about the bad things and the sin that rampages the world. and yet, in His love, He came to offer the salvation solution and free us from its icy grip. The world won’t heal until it’s people do and the salvation God offers is the only way!
Turning, repenting, humbling and healing. It’s the only way to find peace in a senseless world where there is no peace.
2 Chronicles 7: 13 -14
“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.…