We have just returned from CBS. This was, as always, a great morning spent focusing on God's Word and hearing what He has to say to us. Our opening was given by a woman whose husband works for Wachovia. For any of you who don't know the story behind Wachovia, it is the second largest employer in Charlotte and it was just bought out by Citigroup, whose headquarters are hundreds of miles away. Job losses are certain, relocations are possible-- no matter what, the future is uncertain for those who work there. The economic landscape of our city has been altered with this news, to what degree we can only guess. Add this news to the election hype, the gas lines as we have been faced with inadequate supply, the housing market continuing to spiral downward, the folks in Washington voting on a bailout package, and a crumbling economy all around... and things can look pretty bleak. Anxiety could rule in our lives if we let it. And yet, as she shared this morning, God is still in control. He was not caught by surprise by any of the things that have taken place. We can still trust in Him. It was a nice time to focus on Truth, to look to the Word and not the world for our answers.
In core group, we discussed Daniel. His boldness for Christ, his willingness to speak up and speak out even at the expense of his own life, was such a great reminder of how we should be responding to what's happening in the world. Daniel trusted God enough to pray in front of an open window when praying was outlawed. And I worry about seeming "too religious" in a country where freedom to worship is guaranteed? Shame on me! I left feeling challenged to "give reason for the hope that I have" (I Peter 3:15) and never be ashamed of that. I was also challenged to raise my children intentionally-- if one of my children was taken out of my home at the age of 15 to an ungodly nation, would they stand strong in the face of danger or would they be chameleons, blending into their surroundings to save their own necks? What kind of role model am I being to them? Am I equipping them to stand? Hard questions, but good ones to occasionally revisit.
And now as I sit for a precious few quiet moments and check emails, I hear my daughter singing these lines to this song that they sang today at CBS.
Behold He comes!
Riding on the clouds!
Shining like the sun!
At the trumpet call
Lift your voice!
It's the year of Jubilee!
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes!
And I am reminded by her sweet little voice as she repeats over and over, "There is no God like Jehovah" that I am to have an eternal perspective, focused on this God that is like no other, fixing my eyes on what is to come, not on what is. Someday we will see what that chorus describes and all the suffering and uncertainty of this life will fall away, forgotten in that moment of knowing our purpose so clearly, celebrating and worshiping our risen Lord. What a moment that will be!
Today I am grateful to live in a nation where I can go to Bible study without fearing for my life. I am grateful to the ladies who work behind the scenes to make that Bible study possible. And I am grateful to God for making it possible for me to draw close to Him and learn of Him. For being a God who is very, very near in times of trouble.
John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."