Can I just say it? Welcome Sunday! It seems like a month has passed since I’ve walked into a place of peace. I am so ready to be greeted by friends who genuinely care for me, listen to music that both soothes and energizes, and hear a message from God’s word, spoken through the hearts of our pastor and teachers. There is no better way to express it. Welcome, Sunday!
I confess, I don’t always feel this way. Sometimes I get up, get ready, and get to church. Period! Even then, I enjoy the music, love to be taught applicable life lessons from way back before electricity. Then there are days like today when my heart is running on empty and I need to go to the filling station and get a refill. Before this crevice becomes a cavern, there is hope for my heart. Reading Psalms satisfies for a while. I know God is always there. Psalm 137:7-8 “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” I’m thankful that I can call to God anytime and He is there. Every day on my commute to work, I talk to Him out loud, sometimes really LOUD. Now, He never answers me out loud, but God sends his spirit to calm me down. Friday I was on a windy, twisty road when fog was so dense there was near zero visibility. Patchy fog was my companion all along the way, but in that moment, in that cloud my fear was that I could hit someone or something and fear struck hard. Suddenly the fog cleared and here’s what God did for me in that moment. On my radio, Matt Maher sang the words ‘Lord I need you oh I need you, every hour I need you. My one defense ….’ “Thank you God. Thank you for protecting me and any other person or car that could have been hurt. Thank you God for being there all the time.” Thankful! Blessed! Amazed!
Then I remembered a verse that I learned around the age of six: Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” I learned something from that moment. God is there in the moments that flash in front of us and are gone. He’s there when our heart hurts and crushing emotions drag on for days or months. Hope seems lost when we need strength to go on: Psalm 29:11 “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” We all crave peace in a peace shattered world. Leaning on God is not a crutch. We were born seeking God. We were created in His image for a purpose and it is not to live in fear, regret, and lost hope. This is one of my favorite go-to passages when I need to be reminded that God created me for a purpose and I am still a work in progress. I hope you enjoy these verses from the Message translation.
Jeremiah 29: 11-14 “I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. ”—God’s Decree— Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.”