One of the wonderful gifts I’ve enjoyed writing for this blog is that I don’t feel so weird. I suspect I’m not alone when I share that I often feel like I don’t belong in this world as it has changed drastically since I was a child. Just the other day while escorting my daughter to the local repair shop, we stepped out of the car and I was aghast to hear the foul language coming from 2 of the mechanics mouths with their supervisor in plain sight. I immediately addressed these men, telling them my daughter was present, and that their language was unacceptable. But, really… did I really need to say that this type of behavor wasn’t acceptable? Did it need to take someone having to point out that they were acting more like rambunctious teenagers than men? The sad part is that is more the norm than the exception of late; that while chronologically, we see men, they’re acting as boys with very little concern or respect for themselves, let alone others. And then it hit me hard… this was an example of the warning Timothy expressed in 2 Timothy 3, where he states that difficult times are ahead of us… that as the end of the world approaches, people would continue to turn away from God towards themselves, worship other gods like money and power, becoming lustful, harsh, crude and profane, acting like animals with little regard for respect and the sanctify of life.
Looking around, it’s hard for me not to believe that we’re living in the end days. But we’re also commanded to remain clear of these individuals as they are caustic to our spiritual well-being! Instead, we’re called to embrace the teachings we’ve learned and believe in through the Word of God to prepare us to deal with such events we face on a daily basis. The Psalm of David reinforces this approach… Psalm 37 reminds us to rejoice and trust in the Lord and have no concern for the wicked as they will fade away and wither. Additionally, we’re called not to be angry or to lose our temper as that only causes harm, but that a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. Hebrews 1 offers a beautiful description of the importance of Jesus and that He will live forever. Through this reassurance of His presence with us always, we can feel stronger knowing that we can navigate life in partnership with a loving Savior; never alone, and always with an example of loving leadership.
By the way… my daughter later shared how proud she was that I handled the events I described earlier firmly, but without going overboard… that she was proud that she had a Daddy who stood up for her when those around her we actually badly. Have my daughter call me Daddy is an amazing gift; one I take seriously, and one that our Father in Heaven takes seriously, as well, as He is jealous for His children. He prepares us for what we can expect to face in life, but offers us His Word so that we know we’re not alone as we navigate this life.
Heavenly Father… thank you for giving us your Word. It’s hard to comprehend that You knew that we would need a ‘road map’ on how to traverse these troubled times. In Your infinite wisdom, You provided us words that not only prepare us for what we will see as we ‘do life’, but you offer the assurance of companionship in the process and beyond. Father, in the midst of the difficult times You described, let me seek You for guidance always and be strong enough to be Your hands and feet here on earth as I stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. That when people see me, they see You, and maybe, they will be moved enough to die to themselves, seek You to become the men You have called them to be, giving up their childish and selfish ways, so they can lead their families and others with integrity. I ask this through Your Son’s name… Amen!
I was talking to another mom yesterday about a situation in her life, and I asked her if she prayed about it. I admitted that I don’t always pray about the things in my life; and I wondered if I thought my stuff was too big for God–like a situation seemed so impossible or complex, there was no hope. I think that’s where the enemy wants us–feeling powerless and hopeless. It seemed silly to consider that–especially when I looked all around me and all that I saw GOD CREATED. Was there ever anything too complex for him?
Psalm 36–glimpsing into the heart of evil; conceit; no fear of God; they can’t see who they really are; plotting; and no attempt to turn from evil. I almost get lost in what seems hopeless, until these words direct me higher:
5 Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. 7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. 8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. 9 For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see. Psalm 36:5-9 NLT
Mighty God. Unfailing, faithful, righteous and just, caring, sheltering, providing, life and light. Is there really anything so complex you can’t handle?
Ecclesiastes tells me again and again, to honor God and remember him.
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”2 Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.3 Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.
4 Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.
5 Remember himbefore you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.
6 Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well.7 For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 NLT.
Lord, I want to enter each day remembering you–not only for what you have done, but for who you are and what you can do. My problems and concerns are not too great for you. I want to walk confidently in the plan you have for me, because I trust you and I know that you love me. You are faithful.
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