Rising up this morning, I turned to Facebook videos before God’s Word. Mistake.
Now the fears swirl:
- What is America’s fate? Economic decline? ISIS infiltration? Wicked leadership? Secularization and moral debasing beyond what already is the case? Same-sex marriage, LORD? Spitting in the face of the beautiful God-designed picture of marriage of Christ and the Church? Heaven help us! (which leads to…)
- What is OUR fate as a family? No longer tucked away in the Bible belt, we live in a pagan part of the country where Christianity = bigotry, where it is not advantageous to have a fish on the back of your car or a cross in your company logo. (which leads to…)
- Are we years, not decades, not centuries, but YEARS, away from my sweet husband, growing increasingly skilled in counseling people from God’s Word, desirous for all those under his care to be well-shepherded and discipled toward Christ, to not be able to be paid because Christians have become so despised? (which leads to…)
- And what of our children? These tender children, Lord? What are your plans for them?
- The kids have testing this morning, Lord… statewide testing which wouldn’t have been required in the Promised Land (ahem, I mean Texas)… which I really don’t care about because clearly standardized testing doesn’t show much of anything beyond good test-taking skills… which I don’t care about except that it will produce a bit of practice in advance of the ACT/SAT… Lord, are we to the point where the ACT/SAT won’t matter a hill of beans by the time our kids get there? Are we that near judgment and downfall as a nation?
- Or are we nearing college so rapidly that I should be doing more to prepare? God, help me. ACT? SAT? Oxford? Engineering programs? Or entrepreneurial endeavors so that they can stand on their own two feet and think with ingenuity if this country is falling? What will best prepare them, Father? Have we already failed them? Are we failing them? Give us wisdom.
- And will there even be any godly young people for them to marry? (I used to fear that more than I do now; I see that while we were off abroad, God has been preserving little pockets of biblical faithfulness in America… praise You, Lord, You’ve called my husband to pastor one of these little pockets. But I still wonder… Oh, God, give them godly spouses who will love them well and raise our grandchildren in the fear of the LORD.)
- This last week two men I respect threw their names in the ring for the presidency. But I have seen generations come and go that have trusted in the might of men. But I call to mind, “We trust not in chariots; we trust not in horses… we trust in the name of the LORD our GOD.”
And that is where my heart turns a corner. Once my fears begin turning to God’s Word, my swirling questions find answers upon which I can stand.
Opening God’s Word, there, I find rest for my heart:
The LORD reigns; He is robed in majesty;
the LORD is robed; He has put on strength as His belt.
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
the floods have lifted up their voice,
the floods lift up their roaring.Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea,
the LORD on high is mighty!Your decress are very trustworthy,
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, forevermore.
TRUTHS I CALL TO MIND from Psalm 93:
- GOD IS IN CONTROL. — He “reigns.”
- GOD IS STRONGER THAN ANY… ANYTHING. ISIS, same-sex culture warriors, Common Core and educational take-over, the loosening of parental rights and increase in cultural confusion… none of these things are a match for my Father. No matter how it appears on the surface of things, nothing can thwart His ways. — Strength is “His belt.”
- GOD’S PLANS FOR THE WORLD ARE STILL ROLLING ALONG. This current generation and crop of problems is nothing in light of His established throne. — He is “from everlasting.”
- THE FLOODS ARE LOUD BUT GOD IS MIGHTIER. The flooding in my mind is swirling and lifting up its voice: “ISIS! Erosion of parental rights! Moral degradation! Sexual confusion! Educational idiocy! Political shifting! Economic uncertainty!” — but heart, do you see it? Will you embrace it? — “Mightier than the thunders” of these waters, “the LORD on high is mighty!”
- GOD’S PLANS FOR ME ARE FOR MY HOLINESS. Regardless of all the changes, some things remain the same. God cares for me. He cares for my SOUL. He desires a pure Bride and is still at work to purify me. I must know and prize His Word. I should be looking to Him and submitting to His ways. — “Holiness befits your house, O LORD.”
ONLY NOW… when I look to God, only NOW can my heart rest in the right spot.
Now the prayers flood louder than the churning questions—
God, You have been so very gracious to us… at each turn, caring for us. I know Your kindness better than the lines on my face… Your generosity to us has wowed and thrilled me time and again.
If I lived to be 120 and You never did another thing for me… NOT ANOTHER THING… the only true thing for me to say about Your care would STILL be that You have been utterly gracious to me. You have put food in my body again and again, you have brought water to the dry river bed of my angry, selfish, and sinful life, and to the dead lifeless spirit that only sought its own ways continually, you have given eternal LIFE.
You are gracious and You are good.
You will be GOOD if we are poor and left without income. You will be FAITHFUL if we are left with no choice but beheading at the hands of a masked member of ISIS. You will be TRUE if every voice around me shouts out that you are a myth and mocks me as I fall into ruin. You will be DEPENDABLE if our children struggle in ways I can not currently imagine.
You will be lifted high above the heavens and honored for all eternity, no matter what the short-term voices of American culture say.
Provide for us, according to Your lovingkindness. Give my children a hope and a future, not for me, but because of YOUR steadfast love. Make Your name glorious even HERE in this depraved place. YOU are the only foundation upon which I will place all my hope. YOU are the only place I want to build my life. YOU are the Rock without any shifting sands.
And now the soul of this fear full mother has found its rest.