Sunday, April 12, 2020

Rejoice! .... Even In Troubled Times?

Today is Easter Sunday and a time to rejoice, even in this time of uncertainty and fear.  We do have a Saviour and He has already defeated death and hell. What a blessing!

I went outside this morning early, and enjoyed the sunrise and couldn't help but to praise God for His creation. I love the early morning when the animals and birds are waking up and yet there is a quiet stillness also. It is a wonderful time for reflection and prayer.


We live in a time when everything is uncertain … we are experiencing things we haven't even seen before with a virus we are told is dangerous and causing death to many. We are told to stay home, as a nation, and are restricted from regular activities - even meeting with believers at the church. Many are laid off of their jobs and the "temporary" time of quarantine is stretching out more and more. Businesses are failing and though the hope is to open them in a few weeks or a couple of months,  many will never open again. 

We have seen people in panic buying all of the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, paper towels, baby wipes and more as they frantically tried to deal with the fear of the threat hitting the whole world. It was a "Me First" time for many as fights over things in the stores showed. Panic ruled as information was given in bits and pieces with no real source to check for what the new rules were.

Even now, some form of martial law is in effect in many places, though thankfully it is a "soft" martial law which requires us to stay at home and only go out for essentials. Businesses not considered essential have been closed and many fined if they do not comply. So many things cancelled and the schools are closed for the rest of the year though they are trying to do some online teaching. A few months ago, we never could have imagined what we are now living. 

Probably not many have escaped the feeling of fear at some point... fear for loved ones as we hear of death and dire predictions, fear of having enough money to pay the mortgage or enough food to feed our family. Some face the fear of having no graduation, no prom, a wedding postponed, or having a loved one die and not being able to be with them in their sickness or even to say good-bye.

It is a dark time in so many ways and a heaviness seems to hang over our world. We wonder... when will things return to normal? Then we also wonder … WILL things return to normal? Maybe we wonder who is at fault and want to blame someone. Maybe we suspect we are not getting the whole truth but are being manipulated like puppets and we fear what is next. There are SO many ways to fear. 

What are we to do? Many are playing online games with each other answering questions about their life, or coming up with ways to entertain children at home and wishing to send them back to school. Time at home is precious, but as it goes on for so long, many yearn for a bit of normalcy. Some parents are "homeschooling" their children as they try to keep their kids from getting behind in school and come to the conclusion that they HATE homeschooling though this is an inaccurate picture of true homeschooling.

Many jump on the bandwagon of vaccines being a type of "savior" and are suspicious of any who don't go along with the program, so they allow a hatred to fester against those who make a different choice, convinced those people are endangering their children. There is so much misinformation and a crowd mentality has formed to get "anti-vaxers" to comply and the rights of people who choose natural ways of being healthy are trampled on because of fear. Real information is being limited and other information is being pushed - hard. Could it be part of a bigger plan? Could it be that we are being used to complete some not so noble purpose? 

Many probably feel helpless to change things and caught in a twilight zone type of experience where life looks normal, but then suddenly it doesn't. Everything is changing so fast and what and who can we even trust? 

"In the fear of the Lord is great confidence, and His children shall have a place of refuge."
 Proverbs 14:26

What a great verse! In these troubled and changing times, God is constant. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is worthy of trust. He can calm our fears, even if things really do stay bad for a long time. He has a plan and His plan is not being messed up. He is not helpless to change things. We have been a nation who feared God, yet the slide into darkness started slowly and has accelerated greatly. 

Who would have thought murdering babies would become so commonplace that it would be considered an "essential business" in a time of lockdown, but church isn't? Law enforcement has had trouble gaining new recruits for years because of the lack of respect given to officers and the high danger of the job. A noble job, yet one that can make officers an object of hatred with a target on their back. Who would have thought the debate on which bathroom should be used could ever be a real discussion?  Things are happening now that were unthinkable just a few years ago and they have become part of the "norm". 

Could it be that we are part of the problem? Are we praying for our elected leaders? Are we praying for pastors and teachers? Are we turning our hearts to the Lord in repentance and searching for any sinful ways in our hearts? Are we accepting that the sin in the world is just here to stay and there is nothing we can do? Are we giving up?

Maybe we need to repent and search our hearts, confess sin - little or big, and seek God.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  2 Chronicles 7:14

I hope you will join me in praying for revival, starting with our own hearts. 
How are you handling the stresses and fears? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.  Thank you for visiting.

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