Tag Archive: Peace

Don’t be Anxious!

We’re just over two weeks into the new year! Have you made any resolutions? If so, are you still keeping them?

I used to make New Year’s Resolutions. But, like many, they were usually broken within a few weeks’ time. Losing weight, being more consistent in certain areas of my life, living a more balanced life…and then inevitably, life intervened!

We’ve had lots of intervening issues in 2020, and I’ve written about many of them. But right now Don and I have two neighbors (on either side of us) dealing with terminal cancers; a friend in a difficult marriage; a niece struggling with an ongoing illness and Covid, surgeries, isolation, more friends and/or church members dealing with Covid, either illness or death of a loved one, etc. etc. etc. I imagine you face similar concerns.

So I’ve been trying to think of my word for this year. God brought us through last year’s global pandemic (still ongoing), the loss of my mother, national disunity and natural disasters (fires, floods). By His grace, my trust has grown. There’s an old hymn whose chorus says:

“Where could I go, oh where could I go,

Seeking a refuge for my soul,

Needing a friend to help me ’til the end.

Where could I go but to the Lord?”

Written in 1940 by James Buchanan (J.B.) Coats

Coats was an American. World War II began in 1939 and the world was in turmoil. America joined the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. J.B. knew that stability was not to be found anywhere but in God’s love and sovereignty.

We’re in a small group studying Max Lucado’s book, ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING. Lucado says,

“Do not assume God is watching from a distance. Avoid the quicksand that bears the marker ‘God has left you!’ Do not indulge this lie. If you do, your problem will be amplified by a sense of loneliness. Isolation creates a downward cycle of fret. Choose instead to be the person who clutches the presence of God with both hands.”

Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado, p 70

When I look at who God is, at His sovereignty over everything in this world, I feel more at peace than if I just look at the circumstances around me. He knows exactly what is happening in this world He created.

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”

Colossians 1:16

And He knows my needs. He knows my past, present and future. And He will be with me each step of the journey.

So I think my word for this year is SOVEREIGNTY, a word to remind me of His power, wisdom, and love. Nothing slips by Him unnoticed. He is my God, my salvation through Jesus. Even when I don’t understand what He allows, I can trust His loving heart.

Have you chosen a word for this year? How will you remind yourself of it day to day? I leave you with this blessing from Numbers 6:24-26.

Truth Won Out

Abandoned. Left behind. Completely alone. Terrified. I recall when, as a child of nine, my parents drove away from church–-without me!

Thankfully, my childhood abandonment was short-lived. Mom and Dad heard the silence in the car, realized they’d forgotten one child and returned to church, to my great relief.

I think of the former acquaintance who, along with his waste collection buddies, found an abandoned, live infant in a garbage can. I grieve for the many children who are abandoned emotionally, physically, spiritually by addicted, incapable, or uncaring parents.

But for Christ to say “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” from the Cross expresses incomprehensible pain.

sky sunset person silhouette
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At that moment, Jesus, carrying all the sin of the world on Himself, identified fully with my sin. Although He was sinless, Christ felt the separation from God that we sense when we doubt Him or have unconfessed sin in our lives. In heaven the Son was One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The three experienced perfect communication, complete alignment, sublime love, total Oneness. Leaving all that only to feel forsaken and abandoned-–how great a gap that must have been!

But Truth won out when Jesus rose from the dead, just as He had promised!

After a God-honoring memorial service for my first husband, I fell into a deep pit of abandonment, aloneness, despair. I was crushed by the question “What if everything I have believed is a lie … there is no eternal life with Christ … and I will never see Jerry again …” My conclusion was that if that were true, and faith in Christ a lie, life as I knew it was over. No hope. No sustenance. No future. I might as well quit now.

I was alone in another sense. Because I had experienced God’s faithfulness, presence and hope during Jerry’s illness and death, people often commented on my example of faith, and how they were learning from me how to respond in adversity. How could I now disappoint them by revealing my doubts, the anguish I felt, my separateness from God and others? So I kept my agony to myself, rather than reaching out for help, and wandered through murky darkness for several weeks.

One day God brought Peter’s words vividly to my mind: “Where else would we go, Lord? You alone have the words of eternal life.” And suddenly, my heart was free.

Truth won out.

The gap closed, and I was again in union with my Lord, who went to the deepest of all pits in order to give me hope and life eternal.

A dear friend once told me that God wants to be God even in my deepest ditch. However deep our pit, God has gone deeper still. He understands our joys, sorrows, hopes and dreams and wants us to talk with Him about each.

Artist: Ben Steed

Where are you feeling abandoned? Where do you need God to rescue you from your pit? Be vulnerable. Tell Him. Allow Him to touch you and renew your spirit.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

I pray God’s blessing and peace be with you in this new year, 2021!

Scripture image from https://www.heartlight.org/