Steve called from Nevada before bed last night; sick as a dog. He thought maybe it was food poisoning. It just kills me to think of him sick and not here. He has to fly out this afternoon, and that will be no picnic, considering how badly he feels, not to mention the havoc the wind may create on that flight. Uggg.
Doesn't it feel as if the battle is raging constantly these days? The world just seems dark. I feel the "Last Days" in our midst; it correlates with the wars and rumors of wars; earthquakes and famines in various places; every week, it seems like there is another earthquake. And now this one near the Mexico/California border: 7.5 whewie! that's another big one, ( I have taken 2 1/2 days to actually write this post and since then there has been a report of another earthquake in Indonesia of about the same magnitude) We feel it all don't we? Even if we are not in the midst of some of those disasters, we feel the groaning, struggling earth, and we are groaning and struggling with it. Sometimes you can't even put your finger specifically on one thing and say this or that is going wrong, its just the sense that "constant struggle and doom will not abate". Frustrating difficult things, that come one after the other; chaos, sickness, financial burdens, many pressures, so much housework, school work, weariness with the kids, and of course that wind.
As I was talking to Marie ( 1 of 3 precious daughters) and my friend Roxy the other night,
the Lord quickened the following again to my heart as an answer and defense to the raging wind (metaphorically speaking) and the struggle of the battle of our days:
1. Love, Encourage and Comfort one another.
Philemon1:7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement because you, brother have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
Isaiah 49:13...for the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones
IICorinth 1:4 ...Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
I always love how Roxy,(living from glory to glory ) senses when someone she cares about needs a call from her. I know of many times she will call me or another friend and say "is everything ok? do you need me to pray with you about something?" The Lord has given her insight in the Spirit, and she always seems to know when she's needed. It is a wonderful gift; one that I am praying will manifest more often inside of me. Even without this discernment, we can always just check in with each other. I have found that love and encourgement gets me many miles farther down the road, and it restores strength and hope to a withering spirit.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
2. Cease striving
Marie and I were talking about a post that another blogger had posted about walking in the "calmness of Jesus". It reminded me of another word I had heard once which went something like this: "Jesus never rushed or hurried anywhere. He was not stressed. He had the confidence of what the will of the Father was and that is what He did". Busy-ness is not a form of godliness, but quite often I think there is a voice out there that tells us it is. The voice is that of a task master that chides us and rushes us here and there, guilt and condemnation are its companions, we must recognize it for what it is; a tyrant; it must not become our Lord.
There is something so refreshing about remembering what Jesus said of Mary and Martha: "Martha, Martha,... there are only a few things that are necessary and really only one. Mary has chosen it, and it will not be taken away from her". Luke 10:41
While Martha hustled and stressed out to get a meal ready for Jesus (what task could seem more worthy? I could see myself doing the same thing) Mary had learned how to sit at the Lord's feet and have fellowship with Him and learn from Him. We need to quiet the world's onslaught. We need to practice the peace and presence of the Lord. The better thing is not so much in the "doing" for Him, but rather in the "being" with Him, and those we love. Let the world rage. Let it insist that you must do this or that in order to somehow prove your significance, but don't listen. If we can learn to hear and discern the will of the Lord we will not be flustered and chaotic. There may be God given times of busy-ness, and we will definitely be occupying ourselves with what must be done, but we should remember who our "Master" truly is, and for whom we work. When we work under the presence of the Holy Spirit, we work in peace.
What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
Eccle: 2: 21-23
In quietness and trust shall be your strength.
3. Take Joy in the ordinary: To be continued.....