Living in a Topsy Turvy World.
Driving down a newly-familiar road, I reached the intersection at Main Street where I needed to turn right to head toward downtown Wake Forest, but cars were stopped in the right hand lane… add to that, cars were stopped in the intersection blocking the lane…oh, and a big truck was trying to weave his rig into the mess, as I attempted to back up to give him room. The reason - people were trying to get gas at one of the remaining gas stations that had it--pipeline hacked... what? Chaos.
Throughout the day, I continued to check my phone for updates on the missile war and bombing going on in Israel… Israeli Defense Forces vs. Iranian-backed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Dozens killed, and the beautiful Temple Mount once again a scene of fighting, rubber bullets and escalating tensions. Chaos.
Mind you, we are still donning masks, businesses are partly-reopened, and India’s COVID blanket is smothering her. [pray for India] What to do with all of this and so much more … how to keep a sense of wellness, how to choose joy?!
I know of no other source than the words of God to center me,
To set my feet on rock,
To remind me who I am…
To assure me that One sees all
And that I can put my trust in Him,
All will be well - even in a topsy turvy world.
The Bible is tangible proof that there is a God. Its story holds together as it weaves a history that proves God’s love for us--culminating in the life and redeeming death of our Savior, Jesus. While we cannot reach out and touch Jesus, we can learn from his life and take his words into our hearts and minds to show us how that his great love never fails.
Impetuous Peter knew that to be true. He had fresh memories of being with Jesus combined with the precious truths he had grown up knowing. Look how he weaved both together in Acts chapter 2, citing David’s precious words:
->“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”1 Friends, this is true today for us! God is our true north and the source of joy.
What other truths from Scripture remind us where we ought keep our focus, when all around us seems to be sinking sand?
->”You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.”2
I have a particular affinity for birds - actually, I just added four little yellow hens to my family, and I enjoy watching the little chicks so much. Check out Jesus’ words; apparently, he liked birds too.
->”Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”3
->”… In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”4
->“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”5
->“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”6
This next verse was my go-to verse in 2020:
->“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”7
I memorized it, realized my part - placing my trust in God. When life was overwhelming someone I encountered, I prayed those very words over them. Paul had it right - we trust in the God of HOPE; he alone can fill us with joy and peace, but we must trust him. And then, through the power of the Holy Spirit which is in us, we can overflow with hope.
Why do these verses bring hope, why do they breathe life? Because the word of God is ‘alive and active’;8Scripture is able to penetrate where no other light can gain entrance.
We can look these verses up on our phones, we can search them out in our Bibles, we can write them out and memorize them, we can pray them . . . they breathe life into our days, they breathe out hope and promise and assurance. They remind us that we have a powerful, loving God who is worthy of our trust. The words of God are life in a topsy turvy world.
We trust in God in a topsy turvy world,
1 - Acts 2.28, citing Psalm 16.11
2 - Isaiah 26.3
3 - Matthew 10.29-31
4 - John 16.33
5 - Deuteronomy 31.8-9
6 - Psalm 27.1
7 - Romans 15.13
8 - Hebrews 4.12