Through these days of Covid-19, riots and rebellion, the Spirit whispers, “Be still and know that I am God.” “Yes, Lord,” I say, “I hear you, but what does that mean, how do I still myself?“
As I meditate on this verse, applications open on a conscious level. In the flesh, I wrestle with thoughts, my attempts to distract myself, and the driving force to over-focus on the news. But the spirit (the one who never leaves or forsakes me) continues to whisper, “Be still and know that I am God.” As I hear his voice, I let the Spirit have His way in my heart.
My thoughts run – they resist being still. They take on a life of their own. I try to figure things out. I am driven to find solutions. I get on social media to read source’s I trust, godly leaders. I gather all kinds of information. Evil is running rampant. I want to be part of the solution. How do I stand against evil? When is it time to stand up for our constitutional rights?
Just keep busy, don’t think about it. Stick your head in the sand and let the world do what the world will do. Scroll through Facebook, let’s see what people are up to on Instagram, who is tweeting on twitter. Don’t read posts that bring me down. Avoid any news about the virus or the government. Keep my mind so full I can’t think about this worldwide pandemic, the riots, the madness and lawlessness. Call my kids, call my friends, laugh and remember the good times (not in and of itself a bad thing.) Right in the midst the spirit of God whispers, “Be still and know that I am God.” How can we discern the will of God, how can we be His hands and feet, how can we be responsible citizens, how can God use us if we avoid reality?
All the while the Spirit whispers, “Be still and know that I am God. As I still my thoughts, I listen. The word of God tells me:
The opposite of distraction is hyper-focus. It’s not healthy to fill our minds with all the problems in the world. During this pandemic, I believe we need to hear the live presentations of our President and leaders. I listen to live presentations and then turn the news off. Commentators and news reporters share biased opinions. I want to hear the source itself. As I listen, I pray God sheds His light and grants wisdom so I may discern what is true. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
As I am tempted to distract myself from what’s going on in the world, I am reminded of the period of time when the Nazi’s determined to wipe out the Jewish people. The Holocaust! Rather than relay my memories of the horrific event, allow me to share an article by Charles Harris.
After a speech, an old man approached pro-life activist Penny Lea. Weeping, he told her the following story:
“I lived in Germany during the Nazi holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. I attended church since I was a small boy. We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews, but like most people today, we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was taking place. What could anyone do to stop it?
A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track. We became disturbed when one Sunday we noticed cries coming from the train as it passed by. We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews. They were like cattle in those cars!
Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to sing our hymns. By the time that train came rumbling past the churchyard, we were singing at the top of our voices. If some screams reached our ears, we’d just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more.
Years have passed, and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.”
This dear tormented saint warns us, don’t stick your head in the sand. Don’t pretend nothing is happening. Be informed, listen to the spirit of God. What would he have us do? It’s a dark world. How do we shine our light for Jesus?
Stand for Righteousness
I believe as Christians we stand for righteousness. For me, that means finding ways and means to support righteousness in our government.
We live in a country that is set up with accountability. Our forefathers left England and their tyrannical rules to set up a country that honored God and respected the rights of people. We are one nation under God. We are a nation of the people for the people and by the people.
So, when our governor steps out of line, when she refuses to work with the senate and the legislative branches of our government (as our laws dictate) she is breaking the law constitutionally. She is accountable to the people.
“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matt. 10:38
Know that God is in Control
“God is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters.” 1 Timothy 6:15 If the world shuts down, if a virus takes lives, If all of our rights get taken away, God is still God. Has he not told us these things would come to pass?
Sitting quietly, I weigh all the information and ask God what to do with it? I pray for the Holy Spirit to search my heart. I am human, and that humanness has the power to lead me astray. So, I surrender my heart and my will to Him. I pray and read His word. I ask Him to lead me in the way I should go. I am not all knowing – but God is.
I am Secure in Christ
I remember I am secure in Christ. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 1-:28-30
I remember he is Jehovah Jirah. God provides. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19 And I am reminded that God meets my needs, not necessarily my wants.
I Give thanks, which opens the door to peace. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Col. 3:15
I pray – even when I don’t know what to say, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-28
Let The Spirit Have His Way
Only in stillness do we hear the voice of the spirit. Only in the quietness of communion with God do we sense His presence. Only as we hear His words through the Bible do we understand that He works ALL things together for our good and His glory.
During these unsettling days, Covid-19 tempts us. Our thoughts open to all kinds of recklessness. Fear, what if’s, uncertainty and emotions that open the door to the enemy. Being prepared means having a plan. Close the door! Sound simple? Not so simple, but you have a choice to dwell in an unhealthy pool of damaging emotions or fill your thoughts with Him. Think about His faithfulness, think about His provisions, think about how He saved you and rescued you from a certain eternal death. Allow His word to lift you.
Distraction will tempt! We run and hide from pain. We busy ourselves to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Instead, sit in reality; on purpose. We are human. God created us with emotions. Avoiding your feelings, pushing them down, leads to depression. Cry it out to God. Ask God what He is up to. He can handle your questions. You are His child forever, and ever. Noone and nothing can take you out of His hands. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28
Pour it all out to God! Weep as Job wept. “My face is flushed from weeping, and deep darkness is on my eyelids” Job 16:16
David wept when the Amalekites raided, overthrew and burned Ziklag. The Amalekites took their wives and children captive. “Then David and the people lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep.” I Samuel 30:4
There is a time to weep. “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” Ecclesiastes 3:4.
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” Ps. 30:5. And there will be a time for JoY, once more.
In The Meantime
As we face reality and realize the world’s a mess, when the time is right, the Holy Spirit will reveal our role. We don’t have to figure it out. Until that time, let’s pray, trust God, serve those in vulnerable spaces and love our brothers and sisters.
Fall if you must, knowing his everlasting arms are beneath you. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deut. 33:27
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16:13