Anyone else feeling like they could use not just a little, but A LOT of encouragement right now? You're not alone...
Within our church family, people are grieving the loss of family and friends due to COVID, mourning the loss of beloved pets, trying to comprehend hospitalizations. Beyond on our congregation, there have been local evacuations as a result of fires, people are losing their homes, life is just plain messy and chaotic. Just this morning I received a text from someone saying...
I know God is here but I don't hear or see him. I know he is active but I sense his silence. What I know and believe isn't jiving with my feelings of abandonment...I can choose to trust, which I do, but what the heck...?
Let me just say it: our world is a complete mess right now, and there doesn't seem to be any sign that it's going to let up any time soon. What do we do? How do we respond? WHERE IS GOD?!
At Morning Joy this morning, we looked at Revelation 1:4b-6, 8. As we read, contemplated, and meditated on these words, we were all struck by just how timely they felt. We needed - YOU need - to hear what God says through John here...
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen...
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
What Revelation 1 is saying is that no matter what is happening, God is bigger than all of it! Everything begins and ends with him! He is the Almighty!
And with that comes freedom, and grace, and peace, and hope.
I know that this truth - as true and incredible as it is - might not fix anything or take away the anxiety, stress, and trauma you may be experiencing or feeling right now. But that's where the lament Psalms come in - to give us the words to speak when we are mute, to grant us permission to struggle and question, and push us forward in holding on to what we know when our heart simply isn't feeling it.
A while back I preached a series on listening to God in the midst of various life seasons. Perhaps you're in winter right now. Maybe you would benefit from going back and listening to that series (or that specific sermon). Or maybe all you need is to simply hear someone say, "It's okay to be feeling the way you are. Lots of things really suck right now. God's still there in the silence and the chaos, he's still in control, and he promises grace and peace."