Hello Church, my blog today is about how God sustains us during uncertain days. These are some strange times we are in. Times of huge amounts of uncertainty. With uncertainty comes many unforeseen pressures upon our lives.
Our worries and anxieties manifest themselves in many different ways. Left unchecked our worries can overrun us. Worry unmanaged can drown in its wake. It is our task to navigate these waters as best we can, to not be overcome and fall apart by the pressures applied to us. To persevere.
Persevering, however, takes great effort on our part and much work, both physical and mental. If you are a believer of the Bible, we also know we can add a third category here; the stretching and testing of our spiritual integrity. Testing of our faith occurs in these times too.
Driving Under Pressure
The pressures can drive us away from God instead of towards him. Away from God in times like this would be the wrong move. We would be foolish to believe navigating this is just a walk in the park. On the contrary it is one of the most difficult seasons of our lives. And for the most part it is also universal.
All people are feeling the pressure, despite their recognition of it or not. It does not matter geographically where we reside, or the color of our skin. The pressures do not care where we are socially, upper class middle class lower class we all feel it.
Not an Expert
I would be lying to if I told you I have this all under control in my life. The truth is I still get lost in the navigation of the waters. What I do have however, is a good handle, or should I say perspective, on the larger chunks.
Let me explain what I call the larger chunks. I have wants and needs like everyone. But I accept the wants do not all need to be met. However, the true needs I have are a must. I may want a new car or cellphone, but I need food, shelter, and clothing, you know “the basics.”
God Gets It
God knows our worries and our concerns. He is not unaware of my needs or anyone else’s either. In fact, Jesus addresses God’s provision in Matthew 6.
Jesus says, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes” (Matthew 6:25)
Jesus goes on to talk about the birds of the air and how God provides for them. He addresses how no matter how much we worry it changes nothing. Then Jesus talks about how the flowers clothe the grass fields with unmatched beauty.
In his conclusion, Jesus brings to us this charge:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:33-34)
Some pretty sound words to conduct life by. The advice helps where some of my bigger chunks are concerned. Ok, immediate needs met.
But Wait There is More
Now the comes the other big chunks. I have some form of income; I have a small pension which is finally rolling in. It did not go through smooth because of the COVID restrictions. Legal systems I needed to use to acquire retirement statis were simply unavailable or just bogged down.
The funds started showing up just in time, not my time, but His perfect time. Right after depleting our savings first. It is enough to pay the rent and it buys food, but it does not help with all of the chunks. Finances are just part of the worry.
Let alone the fact my body is quickly failing me. What about…Lonely feelings, I miss people. My desires to be a contributing member of society when my body cannot do much. What about my frustration towards the senseless outbreaks of violence in the world?
My political bent for my country in this election season. The desire to want to spoil my wife…to take her places and see the world together now we are retired. And now facing my own mortality.
It Goes On
The ability to simply cope with the frustration of an uncooperative body due to this disease called ALS. So much difficulty in the simpler tasks of life.
Feeding myself, scratching my own itch, standing up, pulling bed-covers over myself, walking, yeah right! All the while fighting to stay positive. How do I keep all these from overwhelming me.? I must be honest and transparent; I do little of it alone. God is a constant presence.
In this life God has given me, He has always been at work within me. I am so grateful for His patience with me and He has never abandoned me. For certain I am a difficult and often disobedient son, strong willed and temperamental and yet, I am His.
Fighting the Enemy’s Deceptions
I do have an enemy who will try to deceive me and tell me God has left me unattended. The way I fight this battle is by reading my Bible for the response to those lies. There are plenty of verses which do not support the enemy’s tactics.
Back to God
Beyond seeing God as just a deity, an all-powerful in charge being. The creator of all things, redeemer of my soul, and my savior. I also see Him as a great artist and envision myself as a block of stone.
I do not believe God sees me so much as a project to chisel into His desired form. But more like I am trapped in the stone and by His hand I am set free from my rock encasement.
Michelangelo said it this way, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” He also said, “I saw an angel in the marble, and I chiseled until I set it free.”
God is like the artist chipping away at the rock diligently and purposefully until the image reveals itself.
In my life. It truly was during my moments of greatest need when God chiseled at me the most. Setting me free from what entombed me my ego, pride, selfishness, and my idolatry. He chipped away my recklessness, the belief in my own abilities, and sometimes he even took away my securities.
My Securities, Really?
I mean how could my securities keep me from following Gods plan for me. They sure could, and I sometimes had to find out the hard way. Little did I understand how many of those issues were suffocating me. They were keeping me locked in cowardliness and stagnate and immobile.
The more I trusted in God’s abilities the more freedom I obtained. Of course, I had my part to do, God was asking me to do certain things which I had to do. I found those plans for me in His word. It was not a matter of just lay all things at his feet and expect He would ask nothing of me. He asked plenty and then empowered me to accomplish the work.
Now More Than Ever
Today, I trust God more than ever, even though I am caught in a season where I have lost more than ever before. He is sustaining me all the more.
Jesus said it this way to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Paul responded, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Do you know what? I agree with Paul. It is through God’s empowerment I sustain each new day. For each day will have troubles; but I do my best to not needlessly add to them as I trust in Him.
There are days I have to take calculated risks; and I do take them so I do not remain stagnant and unproductive and trapped by fear. And often I find there are rewards in them for taking the risk. But I also try not to throw caution to the wind and think foolishly.
There is a balance for me which I try to keep in check. We each must find the balance, as it will differ between individuals. We all must keep in mind this time too shall one day pass.
Stay strong by being willing to be weak.
Love to you all.
Elder at AC3
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