There’s nothing better than a great big glass of ice cold water after a 3 mile walk in the heat of the evening.
You’re parched. You’re tired. You’re breathless.
Yet, that water is like snow in the desert.
It’s refreshing to the bones.
It’s reviving to the muscles.
It’s rejuvenating to the very soul.
This is just how I have found my God to be.
I’m not talking about finding religion, and I’m not trying to convince you of an ancient tradition.
I’m just referring to a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
I’m pointing toward a comfort in times of need, a peace that surpasses all your understanding and a fulfilling joy that words just can’t seem to describe.
You might scoff, and you might even turn the page, but I challenge you to simply try Him.
Just say His name.
He can be refreshing water for your weary mind.
He can be a babbling brook for your exhausted heart.
He can be a living stream for your parched soul.
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
It has amazed me throughout this pandemic how loud the media has shouted and how quiet the church has remained.
It’s been eerily quiet, except for shouts, concerns and finger-points of who should do what, when and how.
It has amazed me how quickly the whole world has given up their freedom and personal rights, even here in America, under the guise of health, security and even “common decency.”
It has been eerily obvious, except for the shouts, concerns and warning signs thrown up by those who recognize this is not what the Constitution nor our Declaration of Independence provides.
Maybe you’ve not read that part recently.
Let me refresh your memory… (Declaration of Independence)
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”
Who gave you the right to remove my rights? Who gave you the approval to dictate to me where I can go, what I can buy, who I can see and where I can eat?
This happens in Communist countries day after day.
This happens in Socialist countries when a crisis arises.
Because the people are dependent upon a higher power to provide.
No matter your political persuasion, if you call yourself an American, don’t get mad and move on.
No matter your religious integration, if you call yourself a Christian, don’t get offended and scroll past.
Please, stay with me here.
It has amazed me how quickly businesses shut down, the economy faltered, and the wallets closed for trade all over the world.
It has been eerily hasty, except for the small businessman who just altered his delivery of food, except for the churches who simply worked a new vantage point to proclaim the gospel, except for the volunteers who said, “Not on my watch, will you struggle and falter alone.”
It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people shut their doors, curtained their windows, and shielded their mouths.
It was eerily fervent, except for those who cried out for mercy, except for those who swung wide the welcome for shelter, except those who ran to the needy to provide and proclaim a message of freedom.
It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people walked in fear rather than faith, claiming to rely on the educated, the enlightened, those “in the know.”
It was eerily evident, except for those who called in God’s Name for deliverance, protection and wisdom, except for those who proclaimed His peace, His hope, His love, despite the storm or the outlook, except for those who stepped forward in cautious optimism to say, “He can save. Look up! The Best is yet to come!”
I write this today, not to stir debate, not to bring condemnation, and by no means to try to trivialize the sickness nor glorify a rebellion.
I only write to stir your heart to prayer, to bring conviction where there has been terror and to proclaim His victory over a he darkness.
If we call ourselves Americans, we should never relent our freedom so easily, no matter the declared crisis.
If we call ourselves Christians, we should never surrender our faith and our fight so easily, no matter the size of the giant.
To slay the giant, never proclaim the intricate details of your foe until you have proclaimed the meticulous victories, promises and testimonies of your God!!
2 Samual 17 … read it again, and become like David, not like the Israelites. Walk in courage rather than fear. Ask about the spoils for the triumph. Declare the victory is God’s not yours…nor theirs!
When the winds blow harder, the sails fill up; yet, the boat doesn’t crack.
When the waves threaten to burst forth, the tiller is set; yet, the keel doesn’t buckle.
When the thunder rolls and the rains pour in, the sails don’t shatter, the mast never weakens.
When the storms of life threaten to overtake the heart of your ship, make sure your anchor is secure.
There is only One who can carry you through the hardships, the hurricanes and even the shipwrecks.
He is the Only One who is an eternal safe harbor.
Penned – MG – 4/16/20
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” Psalm 18:2-6
I know the present pandemic isn’t quite over, and for many, it has brought a whole new normal. I grow angry at those who perpetuate the fear, and I am broken-hearted for those who have lost so much. I neither trivialize nor magnify this crisis. I live with precautions; yet, I absolutely refuse to live in fear.
When I am surrounded by media outlets constantly trying to manipulate the masses to think a certain way, or even act a certain way, I have red flags and sirens immediately go off inside my mind. I stop, watch intently and listen beyond the headlines. I read more, seek more and yes, even pray more to find the absolute truth not the perpetuated and opinionated half truths/half lies.
So, with all that being said, I’d like to tell you what I have learned during this 2020 pandemic… (These are in no particular order…just thoughts brought from heart to pen and paper.)
1. There are many things in life which I thought I needed, and I have found I can live without.
2. There are many things in life which I thought I needed, and I have found I was right.
3. You can confine and restrict, but the old adage stands true, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
4. School can be cut out from the children, but they will learn in more way than you first realized.
5. Even in brokenness and poverty, kindness can override…and the opposite is also true.
6. Even in health and prosperity, selfishness and hatred can thrive…and the opposite is also true.
7. We all need our friends and our support systems.
8. We all need our downtime and to be alone with our thoughts.
9. If you are always the smartest person in the room, Leave. You’re either not as smart as you think you are, or you’re not surrounded by enough challenging people.
10. Your wellness and happiness does not depend upon your wealth, your posterity, your location nor your relationships
…neither does it depend upon your poverty, your failures, your content nor your friendships… but these all (good and bad) can make a defined difference in your life, your destiny and in your legacy.
11. Some people are angels, no matter their circumstance.
12. Some people are devils, no matter their circumstance.
13. It can be very comical what people will buy in a panic.
14. It can be very heart wrenching what people will need in a panic.
15. People are resilient when given a chance to choose.
16. People are assiduous and persevering when left without an easy alternative.
17. Our older generations are valuable, genuine and full of tenacity.
18. Our younger generations are cherished, authentic and full of vigor.
19. People who have determination and purpose can thrive in adversity and in abundance.
20. People who live in fear can be controlled by those who appear to have the confidence to give direction.
21. People who live in doubt can be contained by those who appear to know the answers.
22. If you can believe in the Creator of this universe, He will give you hope, grace and peace like you’ve never seen.
23. God is God, and His name will be glorified in the good, in the bad, and yes, even in the ugly.