Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Monday, September 09, 2019
Monday, July 22, 2019
Many of us have have the belief that we need to be 'busy'. Always working, cleaning, tidying, being in action.
I struggle with this as well. And to be honest, it's been even more difficult since going back to work and trying to maintain the house, family and all the aspects of life that come with work and home.
If I sit down, I'm immediately feeling guilty. Then the yo-yo of getting up and down, doing something, sitting down, getting up again to clean something, sitting down, getting up because "Oh no, that needs doing!", and so it goes on.
Learning to be still requires practice, especially in our busy, 21st Century lives...
I read recently...
One lady writes, “It is almost impossible for me to be still. I even fidget when I am sitting down doing “nothing.” I am worst at home where there are always dishes beckoning me to wash, dirty clothes to pick up, furniture to dust, dinner to prepare, bills to pay, and the list goes on. How on earth can I sit still and relax?”
The first part of Psalm 46 says “…the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea … its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (vs.2 & 3). That description brings to mind the horrific scenes we witness sometimes daily on the television reports regarding the devastation and destruction caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, and fires, resulting in communities across our nation or around the world being devasted.
Then in verse 6: “Nations in uproar, kingdoms fall…” This again brings to mind the internal wars being waged right now in many countries in the Middle East.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, devastating hurricanes, wars - these situations provide a perfect excuse for anybody to panic, to be in a frenzy, but certainly not the time to just be still!
However, the Psalmist wants us to see that in the midst of all the turmoil and catastrophes, God is in-charge and is very much in control.
“Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire” (vs. 8 and 9).
Nothing happens without His direct intervention! Then he says: “Be still, and know that I am God…” Another way of saying this is: Stand back guys! Just watch! I am about to do something that is going to blow you away!”
There are many right now, who are facing certain challenges that threaten their sanity and stability. In the current economic conditions, there are many who have lost jobs, resulting in losing their homes, and still for many, in losing loved ones through divorce! There are those who are facing challenges that threaten their very existence through debilitating or fatal illness.
However, there are many whose challenges may not be as big, but could be equally debilitating: living in a family falling apart at the seems, living beside a problematic neighbor, working with an impossible boss, or always having to make both ends meet from paycheck to paycheck. In the midst of big or small challenges, often our tendency is to panic, fret, or get frantic.
God sees and knows what we are going through. He wants to remind us that in whatever situation, He is there, and He wants to be exalted (vs. 10 and 11). Every impossible situation is a perfect opportunity for Him to display His power and magnify Himself. So, instead of getting frantic, trying this or that…simply, stand back, and trust Him to impress you and show you what He’s got!!
The strong hands of God twisted the crown of thorns into a crown of glory; and in such hands we are safe. - Charles Williams
He says, “Be still and know that I am God…” – Psalm 46:10
Monday, June 03, 2019
"David, in the Psalms, speaks of ‘desperate times’ (Psalm 60:3). There are times in life when everything seems to go wrong. Maybe even now you are facing a desperate situation – perhaps with your health, a bereavement, the breakdown of a relationship, work problems, family difficulties, financial trouble or a combination of these. Even in desperate times, you can find the three great virtues of faith, hope and love..."
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Sunday, March 24, 2019
This story of how a people brought from slavery and into the promised land to be a kingdom of priest and a holy nation, is told throughout the pages of Scripture.
In the Old Testament, Israel is often referred to as God’s ‘wife’ and the desert experience certainly shows how God led, disciplined, loved and brought Israel to become his ‘wife’. The 10 commandments as we call them is not a list of rules of do’s and don’ts, but a marriage agreement about if the nation of Israel wanted to be God’s treasured possession, his wife, in effect, then here’s how the agreement works. Today, in marriage we also make vows about how we will live life together.
How did Israel come to know God? God led them into the desert. In the desert people experience hardships, but they also came to know God who provides, shelters, gives living water, is their shepherd, caries his people on eagle’s wings.
How does this help us understand God today? We, like Israel, will go through desert experiences. There will be hardships, ill health, trials, situations beyond our control that happen to us? Why do these things happen? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that Jesus told us in John 16:33, ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So being a Christian, doesn’t mean an easy life; actually, I find it’s often the opposite. However, the difference is this. I don’t do life alone; I do life with God. And in the most difficult situation, whether health, job, financial, family, community, faith, God is there and He provides me enough to take the next breath, the next step; moment by moment through the difficulty.
That’s what Israel learnt. God provides and cares. He also will chasten and discipline. Why? Because he wants us to live our best life, here, now and know Him personally.
James 4:8a says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
Monday, March 04, 2019
Psalm 136 verse 1 tells us to "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever."
Are we thankful? Do we give thanks? And to whom do we thank?
Interesting thoughts. It's easy to be ungrateful, to complain about how tough life is. How much we don't have, or if we just had a little more, than our lives would be better, be easier.
Really? In my life, I've had the highs and lows of life. Sometimes the well-watered springs of plenty and comfort and sometimes the desert experiences of loss and hardship. But the one constant is the Lord. And I can say for all the comfort and hardship, God is good, his love endures forever.
Giving thanks is, for most of us, a habit that will need to be practiced until it becomes a part of our speech, our thinking. So I encourage you, each day, to find at least one point to give thanks to the Lord for and to say His love endures forever...and forever is a long time!