Are you SURE?
I had to laugh this week when I read a friend’s status that said: “How am I doing? Well…I just wiped the outside of a Lysol container with a Lysol wipe. So, I’m fine. Everything’s fine.”
I found it funny because it articulates what many of us are feeling right now in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. SO much seems uncertain right now. Which got me to thinking…just what IS certain? What can I be SURE of today, at this very moment? My gut reaction was: not much! Yes, I know, we have all of the “right” answers about God being good all the time, being in control, not being surprised by this, etc. and I hear many people saying that we just need to stop freaking out…and all of that. But, forgive me, the religious cliché’s and self-help advice don’t seem to be helping much as I try to make sense of what is going on right now!
The world it seems, is coming undone. And much of what I felt sure of just a couple of weeks ago has been pulled out from under me. Spring and all of the new and exciting possibilities it brings…camping, playing at the park, Easter and egg hunts with the kids, graduation, my oldest son’s birthday party, upcoming ministry events. Then there are the simple things that until a couple of weeks ago I took for granted: going to church, getting coffee with a friend, eating at Chik-fil-A, the freedom to go to the store at will or simply leave my home. It has all either been taken away or deemed no longer safe to do!
Each time I turn on the news, open my inbox or look at social media I am confronted with the reality that the world we live in is in crisis and it’s not going away anytime soon. I have no context for this. No one I know has any context for this. And it’s having an effect on me that I don’t like…I find myself feeling tense, sort of a tightness in my throat and chest. Unable to unwind and enjoy time with my family. I’ve also noticed myself lost in deep thought at times…usually speculating on “what if” scenarios that frequently leave me feeling fearful and anxious! Can you relate?
I finally noticed today that much of my peace, hope, and quality of life, seem to be directly tied to what I am SURE of. Follow me on this: if you aren’t SURE that you landed that new job, how much hope do you have that your financial situation is going to improve? If you aren’t SURE that your car is in good mechanical condition how much peace do you have about driving it cross-country? Like it or not our peace, hope and life are built on the foundation of what we are SURE of.
So back to my question: “What can I be SURE of today?” I sensed God asking me to sit with Him on that question, so I did…and I want to share 3 things Jesus is showing me that we can be SURE of today:
- We were born into a world at war. Of all the things I have been naïve of, this one tops the list. Living in a relative time of peace in a modernized, prosperous country has, in many ways, blinded me to the evil realities of the broken world we live in. Yet Jesus makes it clear that the world is very much at war. That there is a battle going on around us…for our hearts, for our very lives. Jesus makes it clear that we have an Enemy who seeks to KILL us, steal from us and ultimately destroy us. The collision of the kingdoms of good and evil is very real, and most of us don’t live like it. We must daily remind ourselves of this reality and armor up accordingly!
- Jesus has overcome the world! Understanding what this means right now is crucial: Jesus DEFEATED death, destroyed the power of the fear of death and freed those who all their lives were held in slavery to their fear of death! (Hebrews 2:14-15). Jesus set us free from the power of fear! Fear, though a natural response of our flesh, is used by the Evil One to cripple us. The invitation from Jesus to us is to “follow Me!”. We have the opportunity to literally walk with Jesus as His brothers and sisters in the power of His resurrected life today! We must resist fear in Jesus name, place the cross of Jesus Christ between us and fear…wherever it tries to get in and as many times as it tries to get in.
- The best is yet to come! I am amazed at how many times I find myself wishing things could be like “they used to be” or that I feel like my best days are behind me. It’s what drives many people to a “bucket list” way of living! But the promised hope found in Scripture, for those of us who have found our life in Jesus, is this: one day soon Jesus, the creator of everything that you love, will come and restore and renew ALL things! I love how The Message says this in Hebrews 6:18-20 “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God…” (my italics added). The promised hope is meant to be an anchor for our souls, an unbreakable lifeline in trying times!
These three things strengthened and encouraged my heart immensely today. Have you taken the time to sit with Jesus and process your emotions and what you are SURE of today? It’s a journey worth taking!