The people of Ukraine need our prayers; the fragility of the world in general needs our attention. Our U.S. elected officials and military leaders have had and continue to have to make serious decisions related to global and national events.
Our fellow believers around the world — as well as people of other faiths — face horrifying levels of persecution every day.
The once-thought “American dream” life in the United States seems to be shifting into a culture struggling to find its way.
And then the conversations taking place within our denomination (read story here) ebb and flow between reasonable discussions and decisions — similar to what took place Feb. 21–22 — and mean-spirited attacks and attempts at sabotage, which are found primarily on social media platforms.
If these were the only issues weighing on us, we would still have a generous helping of difficulties to research, evaluate and offer prayers.
However, most of us also experience various stressful situations swirling around home, work, community or church life.
Some days it’s just plain hard, and the emotional intensity of it all is just as debilitating as a difficult physical or situational journey might be.
No wonder tempers are short and patience levels are thin.
About the time we think the pressures can’t squeeze any harder, they find a way.
At the same time, I stand amazed at the countless number of people I see shouldering mind-numbing degrees of pain and yet fighting their way through the next step.
Strength of the Lord
Sure, tears come and sometimes even outbursts of anger, but consistently they push forward and manage to even encourage or lend a hand to the rest of us in the process.
How do they do it? The only reasonable answer is through the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We know this to be true, but I wonder how often we forget to tap into the Resource.
Do we truly give Him all our pain and worries like Matthew 11:28–30 suggests?
“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Have you ever experienced one of those moments where you knew you should be crushed into little pieces and lying in a clump of leftover body parts (figuratively speaking, of course), but you were still standing?
Have you ever finally dozed off to a restorative sleep and wake up realizing you will survive what’s in front of you that day?
Have you ever wanted to give up, give in or walk away, but didn’t?
Confident in Christ
If you have, then I’m confident you’ve experienced the power of God in your life — and the power of people praying for you — even if the situation seemed far away from Him.
There are multitudes of ways to experience God, and I’m so grateful He provides such rich examples each and every day.
But today, I’m thinking about how important it is for us to pray for one another and love one another — no matter how much we are consumed with the global, national and personal stresses of life.
Do you realize how many individual items bombard us every day and how often we sense the pressure to immediately have an in-depth opinion — even if we don’t have all the facts.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer understanding the full context of any situation before determining my definite, no-question opinion, and even then I hope I’m humble enough to change my opinion if new information surfaces that proves my initial response inaccurate.
That means I often can’t articulate exactly what I think about this or that in the moment because I’ve not spent enough time reading on the topic to make sure I fully understand.
It also means my social media posts stay lighter in nature and could be described as “boring.”
Maybe “boring” will one day become the new fad, and those of us who prefer a calmer, more compassionate and thorough style of discussion and decision-making will be on the cutting edge.
In the meantime, let’s continue to lovingly encourage each other to keep our eyes on Jesus and endlessly pray for God to draw us closer to Him.
“Love suffers long and is kind … does not behave rudely … is not provoked … rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13).
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