Here we are back to Wednesday.
One thing about this past six weeks that has amazed me is how quickly the week rolls by.
Wednesday is usually my randoms day, so I’m feeling a few coming on:
In no particular order…
I have been sticking with the reading schedule in Psalms as provided by our pastors for the new series of sermons.
Once again, God is way ahead of us, because I am noticing with regularity the references to clean hands.
I have to smile every time I come across it, and I think of the Psalms as I wash my hands with an alarming frequency these days.
But I also have been deeply aware that while God is interested in our health and being wise about not spreading germs, He also is wanting us to remember that the point is the “cleanliness” of our hearts fueling the actions and activities or our lives…maybe expressed in service done with our hands…but not exclusive to that.
This what He is after.
My words and my actions need to reflect a clean and pure heart.
Jesus was specific about how ritual cleanings that only went skin deep were not the point of this spiritual hygiene God was talking about.
He is looking soul deep and heart deep for where we are cleansing out things that are ugly and sinful and dirty in His sight.
Makes me think of the old song we sang with the youth years ago.
Give us clean hands and give us pure hearts…let us not lift our souls to another…let us be a generation that seeks Your face.
Great song…great prayer. Check it out here https://www.lyricsondemand.com/c/christomlinlyrics/giveuscleanhandslyrics.html
I want to call out the elephant in the room during this season.
We are dealing with a lot of emotions and such lately. The opportunity to dwell in the negative abounds.
News changes daily, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Opinions are shared openly by everyone, whether they have good information or not.
Directions and instructions and how we are supposed to be proactive in not spreading the disease and maybe we should be spreading the disease and to mask or not to mask…changes…hourly.
Updates and numbers of cases and deaths are flying around along with politicians having a go at each other and casting blame here and there.
And if I could remind you; if you are wistfully longing for the former days, at least on our local news feed prior to the Pandemic/Covid updates, it seemed like every single news story related back to the sale of recreational marijuana…so not really keen on going back to the “good old days” as far as the media goes.
Then there is the social media, which right now is a bit of a lifeline for us all as we can stay “connected”…and add to that all business and communication outside of our four walls is happening via FaceTime, Zoom or phone/conference calls…and if you are an introvert who gets refueled by being unplugged – this means you have to…ok I will personalize this…this means I have to…intentionally step away from my phone and computer and take deep breaths and force my mind to R.E.S.T.
John’s pastor had a great sermon on Sunday ( you can listen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=ezQX8K2r0CE&feature=emb_logo) about how this is a time when a Christian really needs to be guarding the mind on the daily. Fear and anxiety, along with cynicism and anger, frustration and distraction from the main things, are crouching around us 24/7. If we are going to maintain our focus on the things of God that matter, we will have to be watchful about what we let enter our thoughts.
Are the things we are entertaining and allowing to enter our thinking – good? noble? kind? helpful? true? Or are they feeding and fueling strongholds we have let take hold of us long ago.
Because what we let into our thinking will come out in our words and in our actions (go back to Random #1 if you need to)
If our activities on social media and in interactions with our family and friends and the world on the few outings we can take are looking like the rest of the world, we need to do a heart check.
We are still called to live differently as followers of Christ. Even and especially in a pandemic.
In light of that, I just highlighted with copious amounts of underlining and hearts, this passage from Oswald Chambers this morning:
and I posted on my Instagram and Facebook what God laid on my heart in response.
This is how we are called to live as followers of Christ. Pre-pandemic, mid-pandemic, post-pandemic. We have no idea what today or tomorrow will be like. We are always in uncertainty about the next hour. But we are certain of God. So we live in each moment and we prepare by acting in wisdom and discernment. We make the most of each opportuity. We do not speculate and we do not engage in foolish arguments with those who do. We live differently.Laura Reimer/journal entry
I would add…no one on this beautiful spinning planet really knows what the future looks like.
They never have. They never will.
Which brings me to …
God gave humans the ability to have wisdom and knowledge. He has given us the ability to learn and to use all that He has made available to help ourselves and others.
We follow the current advice of those who have studied medicine and have done research. We come under the authority of the leaders God has placed over us.
Even when we don’t agree with them or even like them, sorry…but truth…we come under their authority unless that means denying our allegiance to our God. (Think Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who faithfully served in pagan nations under pagan Kings WHERE GOD HAD PLACED THEM, yet did not bow to their gods even if it meant death.)
So as for me…this is how I will venture forward in response to the convictions God has laid on ME…I only have to answer to Him for myself.
So yes, I will wear a mask out in public settings where I cannot social distance.
Yes, I will continue to shelter in place and limit my trips out to those that are well-thought out and I will sacrifice my preferences over what I can get with the least amount of time spent with minimal stops.
Yes, I will see family and friend when, in good conscience, I know those visits are necessary and to the best of my ability I will practice healthy measures to reduce risk of exposure.
Yes, I will get up each day and get dressed and go through my normal routines and believe that there is purpose and meaning to what I do whether it is seen or not.
Yes, I will listen to the news with an intentional effort to remember that God is in control and He alone knows how all of this will come out in the end.
And yes, I will pray for all the leaders who are in place and I will use all the strength that is available in me through Christ to maintain a positive attitude and to speak life and hope.
And yes, I will fail.
So yes, I will fall back on the grace and mercy that is extended to me daily…I will ask for God’s forgiveness and anyone else I have offended…and I will get up and keep walking.
How about you?
How will you move forward into the unknown of this journeying onward thing?