It’s been a bit y’all. Yet this in on my heart. The world is filled with fear right now, more than I ever remember in my whole life, and the Lord has been impressing on my heart that faith, compassion, and love are the Christian’s response to the terror and the panic.
I would have to say that wedding plans have definitely taken precedence over this blog, but I love this little space, and I wanted to pop in here on a quiet day and talk about all the incredible things God is teaching me right now.
Lesson #1: Choosing compassion over judgment. Right now, we all know that the world is in turmoil over Covid-19, the lack of toilet paper, the possibility of so many canceled plans, the possibility of exposure to an unknown virus, and yet I have definitely already been tempted to scratch my head and wonder, ‘Why are we so fearful? Why can’t we just trust God and weather the storms like many have over the centuries especially when there were epidemics that were much worse, that killed many many people?’ And though this is true, what does God’s Word say in 1 Corinthians 13? ‘The greatest of these is love.’ In the midst of panic, hysteria, fear of the unknown, this is the call for Christians to continue to be Christ followers in their actions and responses, to love those who are in need, to help and not judge those who are fearful, to be KIND, to wait in line for hours and let others get ahead of you, to pay for someone’s groceries if you’re able, or to accept someone else paying for your groceries with humility.
My thoughts went to Matthew 5 today, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’
What does God want Christians to remember? First of all, we are Christ followers. Our identity is in Christ, not in the things we possess, the full grocery stores, the toilet paper we have on our shelves, or the rice and beans we have stored.
Therefore, we can be: poor in spirit, mourning over our sin, meek, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, and peace making instead of fighting over the last loaf of bread on the shelf.
Lesson #2 – Be grateful. Stop and look at the animals peacefully grazing, the cows, the deer. Listen to the birds twittering their happy tunes, and just soak it all in; remember that the same God that made our bodies and is using this virus for His own purposes, is the same One that keeps the world going, the same One that SENT His only Begotten Son to give a hopeless world the HOPE of eternal life.
My gratefulness list right now:
My parents back from a wonderful missions trip
A good run this morning
Watching sermons with my fiancee
planning a wedding
soaking in time with my sisters
bathing crazy dogs
enough toilet paper for now
God’s Word that gives me complete confidence that no matter what He is STILL Good
Good family dinners
music to dance to
a week of almost no plans because we can’t do most things we were going to do because of the virus
Learning to trust God when things are uncertain and when things seem certain
Lesson #3 – Smile and stop to soak in things around you. Find the hurting and sit with them and have compassion on their hurt. If you can’t be as busy this week, don’t grumble about it. Instead, spend more time listening to your mom and dad talk or your siblings laugh about funny things. Spend more time soaking in the Word cause you CAN! Spend more time sitting with your loved ones. Be with them. Meditate on the gift of each day God gives us here. Meditate on heaven and Jesus Christ. Show that compassion on that person who is in need. Hug them. Give them what they need if you have it. Invite someone over for dinner.
Psalm 105:1-5, ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;’
Lesson #4 – Be sober, but do NOT be fearful. Think rationally. Search God’s Word about how to respond. Sobriety means to ‘think rightly’, and I know that when you say sober, sometimes you might think, ‘Be grim, cloudy, and skeptical.’ No that is not what it means. It means to think rationally such as:
If you’re sick don’t expose yourself to others.
Wash your hands like you normally would.
Be considerate of everyone.
Take special care for the elderly, babies, immune-compromised.
Don’t hide under your bed out of fear.
Titus 2:1-7 exhorts us all to be sober, and this really stood out to me especially when it comes to the way we respond to this virus, the way we walk daily life as a Christian whether it be work, relationships, marriage, singlehood, being engaged, or making dinner.
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine; That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
Remember that God is in control. He is sovereign. So keep walking, following, trusting Him, knowing that His will will be done. Let’s humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, search our own hearts, have compassion towards others, and praise the Lord Jesus who has and is crushing the serpent’s head.
Psalm 46;1-5, ‘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. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.’
How can we as Christians show compassion to others right now?