NORMAL(Part III): The Unchanging Changer

Change.

There is this phenomena that says people, in general, do not like change. People like comfortable familiarity, like a well worn, nubby sweater. I have a nubby sweater I love to wear… it’s red.

But, personally, I generally like change and look forward to the new opportunities that could come with the hopeful creating of a new-normal that is better than the normal I had before – a change that might bring more vibrancy to my life.

So…

No change, or change?

How will the scales balance out in this new-normal coming post-pandemic?

I do not know the answers to this question, but I know who does. And, I know He desires to be the center of the new-normal for many people.

He is the Unchanging Changer.

He is the vertical relationship we were created for.

He is always the same, therefore can be counted upon for every need.

He is the One who sustained me in the tragedies I mentioned in my previous posts and He is the One who holds me now during all the unrest this pandemic brings. I do not know the future, but He does.

The truth is, this Unchanging God is actually a Changer; In fact, I might conclude, His main mission is to bring about change.

Thirty years ago He changed me and He has been changing me ever since.

He uses difficult trials in my life to bring about heart-change in me. He changes my heart so that I can see who I am in comparison to Him, the Almighty, Loving Father. Because He is the unchanging, I can lean on Him to face the dark days, as well as the bright days, with equal confidence because of the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, who loves me so completely, He gave His life and opened the Way for me to have eternal life when I pass from this one; this allows a constant underlying vibrancy to my life.

Nothing shakes this change in me, no matter what – not illness, loss, grief, or even world-wide pandemics – because I am completely secure in the LORD.

Do you know Him?

… are you brave enough, are you willing?

As the new-normal unfolds in the days and months to come, will you consider seeking and knowing the Unchanging Changer

and make Him the center of your new-normal?

Got questions?

Ask.

Be well my readers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Praise GOD in this Pandemic

OXYMORON.

Does this seem like an oxymoron, to have Praise and Pandemic in the same sentence? It seems like it doesn’t make sense, right?

I thought the same way during other trials I have endured, like stage 3Acancer. Yet, I reached a point one day where I actually thanked God for my cancer and praised Him for His all knowing, all present, all powerful presence. Trials and difficult times do not take away from God’s character or the fact that He is still an active, working, living God. Bad things do happen to good people. I know. Yet, God is still good.

How can we praise the Lord in this pandemic?

Let me start the list:

Praise Him for….

The committed doctors and scientists and people who God has given incredibly smart brains to navigate the insides & outsides of this virus, Covid19; pray for their wisdom to figure a remedy in a timely way.

The dedicated and brave, doctors, nurses, and all medical staff, and those who sustain the hospitals functioning, who are enduring under emotions and stress that they have never experienced before and yet they go to work to help people who are suffering from this virus; pray for their safety and stamina and families.

The selfless heroes we take for granted: the first responders from police and fire and emergency bases who come running on demand 24/7, into unknown circumstances, to care for those who are sick and need help; pray for their protection.

The government agencies and other business owners at large who are helping to set up extra hospital beds/units, and make equipment and supplies that are desperately needed; pray that they have ample resources to do what they set out to do, and energy to do it.

The usually unnoticed workers who are sustaining the “essential” stores to keep us fed and doing what is essential to our daily lives; pray for their protection too.

The leaders in our churches who are shepherding our souls as we humans fear, like humans do; pray for their wisdom to speak Truth in these troubling times.

The neighbors and people in our communities stepping out of their comfort zones and doing kind things; pray for their compassion to keep overriding their own fears.

And more… who is helping you? who is your support? Praise God for them! God is allowing all these people to do good for our benefit, individually and collectively.

Praise Him directly for ….

His unchanging character – He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow; we can count on Him.

His commitment to us – He never leaves us or forsakes us; we can count on Him.

His power – He reigns over everything we can see and everything we cannot see – there’s nothing He cannot do; we can count on Him.

His omniscience – He knows it all; we can count on Him.

His sacrifice – He opened the gates of heaven for us – He is victorious over death; we can count on Him.

And more… God reveals Himself in the midst of hard times; we can always count on Him.

During my time of cancer, when I felt death was looming, I never felt closer to God; maybe he is beckoning us to come close to Him now? He desires sweet fellowship with each of us and I have witnessed His abundant provision during unthinkable times… like the sudden death of my son to overdose, and birthing a stillborn. Yes, bad things happen to good people; I am not stranger to loss and pain and suffering, and yet, my God, the Lord Jesus Christ has carried me every single time through every single danger and challenge.

He will do the same for you, readers.

It IS time to praise Him in this Pandemic.

 

 

 

This Pandemic: A Call to Prayer

Anyone can read this post,

but specifically,

I am speaking to readers who consider themselves God’s people;

these words are specifically for you, and me.

Thursday, May 7th,

is the scheduled National Day of Prayer for 2020.

But I am writing today to say, forget it!

Globally, we are in a battle too big for us; this Pandemic, Covid19, is ravaging the human race in ways we have never seen before; it feels surreal – a nightmarish unfolding of horribleness.  Globally, is it possible that God is trying to get the attention of His people?  Could it be, for far too long, God’s people have been complacent? Too comfortable? Forgetting God along the way?

A typical passage clothing the National Day of Prayer is this:

“...If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

It is us; you and me, God’s people, He is speaking to. I wonder, have I humbled myself, do I live like I know who I am and who God is, really? I question, do I seek Him first everyday? Do I seek God earnestly, or just when I want something? Am I sensitive to the Holy Spirit to show me my wicked ways? Am I willing to turn from my wicked ways? I blush and am silenced, even as I think to answer those questions for myself.

Interesting, the verse that precedes this one:

This is God speaking to Solomon, the wisest man ever… “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,…” (2 Chronicles 7:13)

Whaaat? Did I just read that? “or send a plague among my people”… a pandemic perhaps? maybe? Again, as I said yesterday, this God I speak of is a sovereign God who does what He wants, when He wants, and allows what He allows. Why? Because He IS and has a plan. Somehow it all makes sense to Him. It is my experience, almost all the time, I am unable to understand, especially when it involves pain and suffering.

I write to urge and rebuke myself, first.

I am weeping for my Nation and I say:

forget waiting for the May 7th scheduled call to prayer. We need to have a National Day of prayer NOW; today, tomorrow, and for all the days we are alive. Could it be, this pandemic is our call to prayer, right this very day? Could it be, God is waiting to hear from His people, globally?

No stickers or banners or balloons or PA systems needed; just knees to the floor, heads down, wherever you are – on your bed, in you kitchen, in your car… and pray… how? As God Himself told Solomon: humbly, seeking Him and seeking insight to our own wicked ways, turning away from our wicked ways, and asking forgiveness,  THEN….

then, He will hear our prayers, forgive, and heal.

I believe it begins now, with us, who call ourselves God’s people. My pastor preached a sermon recently stating, “God’s people need God’s people.” We need each other to remind each other of the faithfulness and Truth of God & His Word, especially in these scary times. My Pastor also said, “… and the world needs God’s people.” The world needs God’s people to share the HOPE we are given in Jesus Christ.

And I will add today, that I believe, the world needs God’s people to pray in such a way that God hears, forgives, and heals.

To Him, be the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is God during this Pandemic?

Media allows us to see and hear news more quickly and intensely than any other time in history. It can consume us and our attentions. This pandemic of Covid19 commands our focus, incites our fears, and pushes our panic buttons; anxieties are pumped liked veins in a wrestler pinning his opponent. Clearly Covid19 causes chaos and suffering and terrible losses for many all over the globe. Sudden, unexpected death blows a hole right through the center of a being; I know.

So. Where. Is. God?

Where is God during this pandemic?

Does He hear the weeping? Does He see the frantic worry? Does He feel the pains and losses?

I asked these very same questions when my son was consumed by addiction and then died to an overdose. I know the overwhelming pain of sudden, unexpected death in a family. And, I wanted to know the very same things.

Where are you God?

I know the answer.

Let me tell you: I am confident that God is in our midst. The Father hears, and sees, and weeps alongside each one of us, knowing our individual circumstances. Just as I am confident that the Father was with my son as he drew his last breath and ushered him into heaven, I am confident He is with the world now. None of this takes Him by surprise. This pandemic did not take scientists by surprise, so even more so, why should it surprise God?

Scripture tells us of a God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He stood with Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire. He closed the lions mouths for Daniel. He spoke to the waves and made them be still. He rolled the stone away. This is the God I am talking about and just some of the stuff He has done. This God does what He wants, when He wants, and allows what He allows. Why? Because He IS and has a plan. Somehow it all makes sense to Him.

Not fair you say? In our feeble uninformed, unseeing minds and sights, this is true – it is not fair. But, we are not in charge.

Still. Why should we have to endure such a horrid virus as Covid19 that is killing so many? Why us? Why now? Plagues are a thing of the past – something out of the Dark Ages, aren’t they?

Yet, who are we to question really?

Like Job, we are too prideful for our own good, world. Even still, God is patient with us just as a good earthly father is patient with his children. The entire world has suffered since the beginning, starting with the snake, the fruit, and the woman. For thousands of years we have all suffered, simply born into the mess. Yet, we have all been abundantly blessed too; Redeemed by one man, His blood, and a flight into heaven. This is the Father’s plan: that His only son Jesus died for you and for me and for everyone in the world. Ultimately, no matter what virus or trial comes, God is with us, for us, and loves us; That is His plan too.

Where is God during this pandemic? 

He is right here with us, in our midst, watching over the ones who are sick and afraid and blessing them with helping hands, giving wisdom to doctors and scientists, sparing many, and ushering some into the next life beyond this world. In it all, He demonstrates His soveriegn love.

I promise you, He has not left us or forsaken us.

Talk to Him, if you don’t believe me.