As of writing this article, Hurricane Dorian is slamming the Bahamas with 200 + mph winds, and it’s not expected to move away for hours yet. I have to say I am relieved the projected path changed but at the same time, I can’t stand the thought of others getting devastated by this storm either. I know it’s unfounded guilt, but I often feel guilty when something like this misses us, yet hits others so hard. I felt much the same when we sat in our church, surrounded by other evacuees as Irma broke apart just before the eye reached us. Having friends and family one county south, and knowing they had just gotten battered, it’s a strange feeling- as I said with a mix of guilt- why them and not us….
Also as of writing this article, the death toll from the latest shooting which happened between Midland and Odessa, Texas is now at 7. TX shared the news of this latest, and my first thought was, how do I even pray anymore? It seems as if the whole nation has become Chicago, where mass shootings is the new normal, and yet people still clamor and say “Do something!” The only thing is, there is no answer other than spiritual for what is happening in our country and world. The Lord gave me the words to pray.
Those of us who believe in the Bible know times are only going to get worse- the whole earth, nature as well as human is groaning under the pressure of the fallen state, and Jesus warns that the groaning will become more intense, as if labor pains have gripped a pregnant world.
2 Timothy also reminds us that the days will wax worse until the Lord’s return.
Everything from politics, political fights, destruction of the family, a generation of children being raised in a society which has sexualized everything, to not only the acceptance of abortion of babies through to birth, but the pride of those who celebrate their abortions, to society accepting that which is evil while shaming and vilifying that which is good- we’re living in Biblical times. I can’t say we’re as bad as it was in Noah’s day, but we’ve got to be pretty darned close. Or at least it seems like it. I don’t even want to think about the next round of acceptable abominations. I can barely stand seeing the celebration of sins now.
So with natural, societal and spiritual storms wreaking havoc around the world, coupled with persecution and genocide of believers in Christ, how do we ‘weather’ these storms?
We know already, those of us who believe, yet it’s good to keep reminding ourselves of things that Jesus and others in Scriptures tell us.
Psalm 46 begins by reminding us,
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
A death, life change, loss of job or income, loss of home, category 5 hurricanes, earthquakes… tornadoes, tragic events, war and the very real circumstances that our troops may find themselves in… There will be times, if there haven’t already been, in each of our lives, that we just can’t do anything, and we’ve either got to put all of our trust in God when He promises to be our safe shelter, and just rest in that or frustrate and embitter ourselves by trying to make sense of things or change the world. Believe me, I frustrated myself enough with the latter, to now I’ve had no choice but to trust, and there is something very ‘freeing’ about that.
This past Sunday our Pastor gave a few good examples of resting in the peaceful, quiet shelter as the storms rage around us. Those of you who haven’t experienced hurricanes will have to try and imagine- when you see homes boarded or shuttered up, inside, the noise from outside is blocked out, it’s light, but dim, and it’s actually pretty settling knowing that the place is as secure as it can be. That is the shelter, the refuge that the Lord promises us, only His is everlasting and will never crumble.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Psalm 46:10,11
The other point Pastor brought up was that word, Selah. Given the context in scripture, most scholars believe it’s likely to mean “to praise” or “pause and reflect upon what has just been said”- but it’s also said that it can be as if the author is saying, “What do you think about that!”
Jesus already gave us the victory over the world- He is our stream of living water, He is Mighty, He is Righteous, He is in control, He is coming again! What do you think about that?!
He is present with us in every trouble… What do you think about that? Do you believe?!
If you don’t, you can learn about Him- we will be beginning the first chapter of the Gospel of John tomorrow, and you can learn about Jesus, Who He is, and how you can have a relationship with Him. If you trust, believe and receive, you’ll not only receive His mercy, grace and pardon for your sins, you will receive His peace and joy even through the hardest times.
For those of us who are believers already, there have been plenty of times over the years where we’ve had to let go and Let God.
So in the midst of all the storms, tragedies and evil times, just keep your eyes on Him, remember God has a plan and is working it out, and that nothing surprises Him or gets Him flustered.
We may find these times more depressing, frustrating and angering, but be still and know that He IS, and He has us right where He’s planned to have us, before the world began.
What do you think about that!
Have a blessed Tuesday all!