I don't know how each of you view current world or domestic events. Certainly there is nothing new under the sun, however lately the times we're living in can leave me feeling a bit unnerved. I must say I look at America at this stage of her life and I question her ability to survive. I wonder if she'll survive Obama but even more will she survive the irresponsibility of her citizens. Will she survive the sleeping church. I don't know. And then there is the American church, don't even get me started. I know the global body of Christ will survive, it just will. I think things are going to start heating up for the American church though. Usually I try not to let the condition of the country or even the church be my focus or a distraction. I almost never watch the news or keep abreast of current events, on purpose. Sometimes though I find myself speculating and worrying about the future, this last week was one of those times.
I'm in a bible study that is covering the book of Revelations. Good book. Sometimes though, especially for a personality like me, it can be scary, intimidating, overwhelming. I left worrying, "Is the end near, will we be a cashless society soon, will I have to take a stand against 'the mark' soon, will my children be taken away, what should I do to prepare..." I must confess I was a pitiful sight, not at all a bold Christian filled with faith, shame on me. I know my husband just shook his head. When I asked him if there was anything we should do to prepare for unceartain times. He said yes, we should do what we're already doing, growing in the Word and pointing people to Jesus. Wise man. God's redirection of my heart was so amazing and gentle. I can't even believe how he reasured me. He brought so many things to my attention that redirected my gaze to his face. My mom shared with me a couple of her different devotional readings that just 'happened' to be for that day that spoke so clearly to my worries. One from Elizabeth Elliot said, "We cannot always or even often control events, but we can control how we respond to them. When things happen which dismay or appall, we ought to look to God for his meaning, remembering that He is not taken by surprise nor can his purposes be thwarted in the end. What God looks for is those who will worship Him. Our look of inquiring trust glorifies Him." Our trust in him during tough times will also provide the answer to those around us.
God also used an aquantance to point out Psalm 37 which he used powerfully in my heart. Psalm 37:7, 18-19, 28a "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act... Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive a reward that lasts forever. They will survive through hard times, even in famine they will have more than enough... For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly." The entire chapter is an amazing promise to those of us who put our hope in God.
Another thing God used to bring my focus back to him was the song 'Revelation song'. Amazing, if you've never heard it you should track it down and listen. As I practiced it this week to sing in church this Sunday it stayed in my heart and became my desire. I want to see him on his throne "seated on his mercy seat...clothed in rainbows of living color, flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder"...I want to sing his praise "with all creation...filled with awestruck wonder" at the "only wise king"! I know that the book of Revelation is not the revelation of the end or world events, it's the revelation of Jesus. He should be our focus he's our answer.
Lastly this Sunday's sermon was a reminder that the end is coming, it has been ever since Jesus returned to heaven. It was another reminder that in light of the end we should be about the business Jesus left us with in the first place. Prayer, love, serving with our spiritual gifts. There is no value in human schemes or plans to prepare for the end. I know that. Why is it so easy to give in to fear? I suppose it's easy to want to protect my family in my own strength from all of life's hurts. But they're his anyway. I know we're destined for eternity.
I had such an amazingly precious time with Max tonight that finished of my week of renewed perspective. My mom used to 'walk us the the throne' when we were little. She would have us close our eyes and and describe the sights and sounds of a journey to the throne of God. The walk would lead us right up to the throne of God. She would leave us there in his presence. I drifted off to sleep many a night at the foot of God's throne. Tonight I walked Max to the throne. He loved it, his little heart opened up to God's presence. Words tumbled out as he shared his enthusiasm and belief. He truly longs to be in Jesus presence and he often expresses it. He wanted to know if we could go soon, he also wants to have his next birthday in heaven so he can invited Jesus and Peter! My son is destined for another country, a heavenly one. I have no greater comfort and can provide no greater security for him than that. Exhale. Thank you Jesus for such precious reminders.