Oh, the fixer in me is restless.
I desperately want to find a magic wand or just the right words to fix our world right now. I’m listening to the conversations and I hear others who want to do the same thing.
If we’d just do this . . . all would be well.
If we’d just do that . . . this would all end.
Sometimes I listen to the news and the weight of humanity hurting humanity feels crushing.
Just turn the news off, Suzie. Don’t watch that stuff.
That doesn’t make it go away, sweet friend.
Even as I put my fingers on the keyboard today I want to write words that will help this all go away, or at least help you and me find the peace that we need.
Instead, I sat alone with the Lord and asked him the hard questions.
What do we do in a world turned upside down?
Is there something I can do?
Jesus often talked about upheaval with his disciples. It might not have been their favorite subject, but it defined their world. It made sense to talk about it.
It’s not our favorite topic either. We want to read the chapters nestled with all the goodness and promises, instead of words like these.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)
And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Matthew 24:6 (NLT)
We want to pass legislation that will fix this — or debate it until everyone sees it the same way (not going to happen).
There are helpful things we can do, but today I want to sit across from Jesus and truly listen to what He’s saying in these passages. Even as He warns of sorrow and trials and wars and threats of wars, He assures us with a promise.
There’s peace to be found in Him
Not a trite, “You’re going to be okay” pat on the back, but deeply rooted comfort that anchors us in uncertain times. There’s peace that transcends circumstances.
But there’s a second part to this. There was a reason that Jesus warned the disciples.
He wanted them to keep going.
If we are anchored and at peace inside, that means that we’re strong enough (through Him) to walk into those trials, and live among wars and rumors of wars and experience sorrow in our world, and keep going.
There’s work still to do and we don’t have the luxury of hiding in fear.
Jesus told the early followers to expect chaos and hard places, but always with the greater promise of, “I’ve got you, so keep going. Keep doing what I know you can do.”
That’s what the disciples did. At the very end they all professed this one thing as they held on to truth.
I’d do it all over again.
Knowing Jesus was worth it.
I was forever changed by His love, not my circumstances.
I feel so compelled to pray.
For my nation. For racial division to come to an end. For innocent men, women, and children caught in the crossfire. For my friends living across the world in one of the most dangerous countries to live as Christians. For the Church to love people and not be afraid to talk about the harder issues.
Yet it’s not heavy.
I realize that I can’t change the world. It’s not expected of me. Instead, I will pray. I will believe that we all have a small part to play and when we do that, there is hope for change. I’ll also trust what Jesus told the disciples, because you and I are also disciples.
He said, “take heart.”
We can take heart (courage, bravery, encouraged, hope-filled, anchored) over living in fear any day of the week.
How will you hold on to the truth? How will this anchor you in a world turned upside down?
What would you say if Jesus asked you to follow where He leads, wherever that may be, whatever that may look like? Would you be willing to whisper Yes where No wants to take root?
I’m hosting a six-week study over Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads. It’s for personal use. It’s for small groups. It’s for churches and women’s ministries.
Everything but the book itself is free for you — videos, resources, and more.
It’s been a dream of mine to invest in a study like this and to offer it for free to anyone, anywhere that wants to join (or use it in the future). Join the Come With Me On-Line Bible Study! Start by signing up here: http://tsuzanneeller.com/come-with-me-study/