CHRIST is Risen!
He is Risen, indeed!
And He will be coming back again.
Do you believe that last statement? I hope so. Because that’s what He’s promised to do.
Are you waiting for Him, and living like you are?
If you answer “Yes”, and you’re focusing on that (His promise), then you’ll have peace.
FOCUSING ON PROMISE
Last week we looked at the knee-jerk response of the Israelites to the Egyptian army bearing down on them in the desert, where it appeared (to them) as though they would be snuffed out in front of the Red Sea. Because I hope you’re still basking in the fumes of yesterday’s Resurrection celebration, and because I don’t want to move on until we’ve highlighted a few other points of last week’s story, this post is going to be shorter than normal.
While reading through Max Lucado’s great book And the Angels Were Silent: The Final Week of Jesus, which I do every year for either Lent or Holy Week, I came across Max’s thoughts about the Red Sea-parting event and the Israelite’s tramp through the wilderness. He explains part of the event in true Lucado-style:
“[God] led [his children] into a strange land. He marched them through a sea and guided them into unexplained territory.
They didn’t know where they were. The desert was strange. The sounds were new and the scenery unfamiliar.
‘Take us back to Egypt,’ they demanded.
But the Father wanted his children to trust him. The Father wanted his children to take his hand and relax. The Father wanted his children to quit worrying about how and be content with who.
He liberated them from slavery and created a path through the sea....
… ‘Trust me. Trust me and I will give you what you need.’”
FOCUSING ON WHO
Are you like an Israelite in the wilderness, worrying about how and not focusing on and being content with who?
Because when you focus on the Who, peace invades your spirit.
When you take the first step and trust in God and His son Jesus, then you have taken the first step in the beginning of wisdom then peace automatically follows.
When you know He loves you and wants the best for you, peace calms your worried heart.
When you know He has a reputation for being a promise-keeper, and you trust that He’s still keeping promises He’s made for the future, then peace reigns.
When you know that He is—this very minute—in the process of building a dream home for you in Heaven, joy and peace dance together. You can’t wait for Him to come back for you, But you also know this building process takes time, and peace makes your heart content.
Jesus doesn’t promise us a rose garden life. (It helps to remind ourselves that those breathtaking roses are usually laden with thorns, anyway.) Indeed, he tells us we will have troubles. So why do we act so surprised when they show up?
When Jesus was on Earth, He talked about how we need to live a life of God-worship rather than other-worship, self-worship, money or possession-worship. The Apostle Matthew reported on some teaching Jesus did about it.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax… People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiatives, God-provisions….
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (The Message).
FOCUSING ON THE BOTTOM LINE
With that in mind, here are some things you can keep in mind:
~ God takes pride in you, His child.
~ God will always do His best for you, and what's best for you.
~ Don’t fuss over things. It’s not worth the energy or time. Fussing can make you sick and others around you frustrated.
~ Steep your life in God—the reality of Him, the things He initiates, the way He provides. He’s got a perfect track record.
~ Pay attention to what He’s doing in your life right now, this very day, this moment. Maybe you are walking a difficult path because you need to give up more of your “self” to His control. To remember He’s God and you’re not. Maybe you’re being tested and need to lean into what’s going on in your life at this moment.
~ Trust Him. Put all of your weight into Him. He’s got a strong hand on you; He won’t drop you.
While you see a tiny blip on the screen, He sees the big picture. Let Him worry about the big picture and see you through the tiny blips. (I know. They don’t always look so tiny from this end.)
TRUST. That’s really what it—and peace—come down to. When you trust Him, the peace that comes hand-in-glove with that trust makes life simpler, easier mentally, more enjoyable. More blessed.
So when you don’t know where you are, and something is new, strange, and unfamiliar—or uncomfortable—don’t give in to your first inclination to turn and sprint back to where you came from. Give Him your hand and relax.
Don’t worry about how.
Instead, be content with Who.
Which leads me to another question: Just how BIG is your God…?
More peace next week!
May you prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 2).
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