Alright, settle down. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Now, all of us, just step back a ways and see what's really going on here. Know what? Why don't we just sit down, heave a big old sigh, and calm down. Alright? Okay? You okay there sister? Settled down yet? Not quite. That's okay. We've got time. Look at me. Straight in the eye. It's okay. Everything is going to be okay. Uh, uh, uh-h, at me. In the eye. There. Now, deep breath in; let it out. Again. Alright. Now, let's breathe deeply again except this time when we inhale, say "God's love in." When we exhale, say "Fear out." Okay. Here we go. Ready? "God's love in." "Fear out." Let's do that again. "God's love in." "Fear out." One more time for now, "God's love in." "Fear out." Mmmhmmm. That's better. Isn't it?
I don't know if you feel better, but I sure do! I needed both the audible reminder of how God's perfect love drives out fear and the deep cleansing breaths. I just got done checking emails, and whoo-ee! If a person isn't grounded in the truth of God's Word he or she could get downright down. Seriously, have you read all of the negative nelly words out there from Christians lately? Yikes! Now, before I go on, I have a confess to make. Those downhearted, fear-inciting words don't depress or scare me; they make me angry. Sometimes they make me very very angry. That's why I needed the reminder of God's love and cleansing breaths. I needed to detox my thinker from the inside out.
Besides needing to detox my thinker I also needed to be clear-headed before I began typing words with lightning speed. I didn't want to unleash a verbal assault of "encouragement" on everyone without being firmly focused and tuned into God Who is love. Love is the point of the gospel. So I thought it might be a good idea to be operating out of and from a position of love rather than frustration and disgust. What do you think?
So, well, yeah, here I sit all calmed down and clear-headed full of the love of God wondering where did all of those words of "encouragement" I was going to pour forth in a rather ferocious frenzy of typing go? Maybe they flew out on one of those relaxing exhales. Hmmm. Now what? What do I say now that all of the words have gone? Do I tell you how upset I got earlier today while reading an article written by a dear Christian sister? Do I tell you about how parts of the article really touched me way down deep while other parts made me absolutely furious? How when I read the article to myself it seemed so wonderful. but when I read it to my children something inside opened my eyes and my ears and made me question whether it is a truth perspective or a Christian version of the same emotional manipulation worldly media uses to move the mindless masses.
Is this the appropriate place to share about that other email, the email whose contents originated from a well-known person in the Christian community, a leader whose words influence many? Is this where I share from my heart about how I don't agree with that man AT ALL, no matter how godly his father is or how many people have been saved through their ministry? Is is okay to do this? Is it okay to stand up strong and loud and shout at the top of my internet lungs that these messages of fear, these sermons of doubt and destruction, THESE ARE NOT OF GOD!!! They are not. Fear is not from God. God is victorious. He is love. He is more than enough. He is good. He is kind. He heals those hurting. He binds up the broken-hearted. He is life. He is the way. The world doesn't know the Good News we know. The world doesn't know Him, but we do. We do know Him, Love.
We know the One who created. The Great I AM who gave His Son to die that we might live. Jehovah Jireh our provider. Jehovah Raphe our healer. We know the God who heals the sick, the blind, the lame. God who sets the prisoner free. God who restores. God who is good. God. We know Him. He is in us. It does not matter what things look like. It does not matter what the news says. It does not matter what the financial "experts" predict. It does not matter what the stockmarket does or does not do. We, the beloved of God, have not placed our confidence and our trust is that which we can see, or hear, or feel. We are grounded, rooted, and moved all and only by Him, by love. And HE. HE is enough.
There is no crisis greater than what He can deliver from, protect through, and restore that which may be lost. Troubles will come. Trials are real. Loss occurs. But God... Dear friend. Please don't forget these words: "But God..." Yes, things look, sound, and sometimes are very bleak, big, hard, and scary, but God... Daniel and the three Hebrew children were in a very bleak, big, hard, and scary situation, but God ... Goliath was really big. He was super loud. David appeared to be just a boy, but God... Getting thrown into the lion's den was pretty nasty for Daniel, but God... You've read the Bible. You know as many situations recorded in the Bible as I do where everything was hard, horrible, frightning yet were instantly changed with a "But God..." moment. He is the same yesterday, today, forever. He is God. He changes not. He loves all of His children. He has always cared for His own. Why would He stop now?
We've read the many accounts of His past deliverance, protection, and provision, but have we read about the future ones? Have we read Revelation and seen for ourselves the victory promised to those who believe on Jesus the Risen Son of God? There is nothing to fear when we are in Christ Jesus. Nothing. If I could, I would look you straight in the eye right now, lovingly gather your face in my hands and assure you with all of the gentleness God gives me that there is nothing to be afraid of in Jesus.
I know it's time for us to go our separate ways, but please know how much I love you. More importantly, know that God loves you even more. He's got both of us in the palm of His hand. We're abiding in the shelter of the Most High. We can lay down and sleep soundly because He keeps us safe. (Psalm 4:8) Let's get together again tomorrow. As Hebrews 10:25 says, we don't want to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as we see the Day approaching, and I'm pretty sure the Day is indeed approaching. Aren't you?
Loving prayers dear friends,