Hey City Church,
It’s been a bit since I posted a blog on here and I felt the Lord put it on my heart to encourage you guys a bit. 2020 continues to be a storm unlike any we have faced in our lifetimes. It seems like right when the clouds of one stresser begin to part, the next storm front rolls in on its heels. Peace feels like it’s in short supply these days.
Let me tell you a quick story….
I was standing in front of the church yesterday waiting to meet someone when two vibrant young guys taking a walk passed by on the sidewalk. I casually said “Hi guys!” as I am prone to do with neighbors. One of them replied “Hi! How are you?” I wasn’t expecting a conversation as they were walking briskly. I replied “I’m doin’ okay… how are you?” The young guy replied, “Man… I’m doing AWESOME! All glory and praise to God!” He had the biggest smile on his face when he spoke those words and I could tell it was really genuine. Immediately, I sensed the irony in the situation. I was the PASTOR standing in front of God’s Church that I have the honor of leading giving an average response about the day. Here this young guy gave the encouraging and uplifting response I should have given. I replied to the guy “Man… I’m the pastor of this church I should be the one saying that! What’s wrong with this situation?!?” The three of us had a good laugh and they walked away.
Listen, I’m big on always being real with how things are going. I wasn’t having a bad day or a good day. I was being genuine that it was neutrally okay day. God never wants us to be fake. I vowed never to do that years ago and I will always be true to that. At the same time, finding something good to celebrate even an average day is always a divine chore worth taking. I believe this young man was doing that. Or maybe the girl of his dreams just agreed to a date with him… who knows? This little interaction reminded me that peace is a promise for every believer in all seasons of life.
We’re not the first set of Christians in history to feel like peace is in short supply. Today God reminded me of the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat while a storm raged on. As things got worse and worse, they finally and forcefully wake up the Lord. They told him “Save us Lord; we are perishing.” I don’t know about you but the disciples’ words sound relevant to 2020. It really seems like the world is on fire. The waves keep getting bigger and bigger. Uncertainty and fear are the dominant emotions. And it seems like Jesus is asleep. The disciples wake up Jesus in terror. The Lord rebukes them for their lack of faith. Jesus speaks PEACE to the storm and immediately the wind and the waves CEASE. That must have been quite a moment to witness.
I feel like the world is waiting for God to speak to the chaos of 2020 and miraculously calm it down. Perhaps he will. Though I have hope that our circumstances will improve, I know God is still working in this storm. Jesus wants us to continue to trust Him in this storm. My guess is that you have faithfully trusted God this year to the best of your ability. Keep it up. May we continue to trust the Lord as He leads us through this phase of life. Over the years, I’ve learned that…
Jesus may not always still the storm around us but he promises to faithfully still the storm inside us – when we look to HIM.
Every day brings new choices. Fear or faith. Worry or worship. Emotional paralysis or divine peace. Looking to our circumstances or looking to our Savior. Today I’m making the choice that young man on the sidewalk made. I’m saying “I’m doing awesome. All praise and glory to God. HALLELUJAH!” Who is with me?