Psalm 9:9 – The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
There is no doubt we are living in a time that terrifies most of us. Now, I am sure something immediately jumped into your mind when you read that. For some, it may be the numerous acts of violence, whether that is mass shootings, protests that turn violent, or something else. For some, it may be over leadership of our country, state, or community, and the policies leaders are pushing. Or, perhaps the state of our culture, the massive shifts in our society, families, etc. While these are all legitimate sources of fear, I don’t know if I can honestly say I am fearful about the big picture, because I know God is bigger than any of that, but I am terribly sad. Sad, and in a strange way, thrilled. Yep, I am making no sense right now, and some of you are probably growing concerned about me while reading this!
The way I look at all of this is that yes, darkness and evil are permeating many parts of our lives and world. It is stirring up so much hatred and fear, pitting groups, and individuals against each other. Evil doesn’t need to be a substantial massive attack to be effective; darkness is trying to rip us apart little by little. So that’s the sad part, trusting in God’s plan, but living in a time that is painful for so many.
So, you’re probably thinking Molly, how is this thrilling, are you okay? Yes, thrilling, because it means that there is also a lot of good going on and the Spirit is moving, and stirring hearts, which scares the evil one, so evil has kicked into high gear! Things as we knew them are changing. And, change is scary, it pushes us out of our comfort zones, and that is GOOD news! That is liberating! It is breaking apart structures and institutions that so many are trying to maintain, often for personal reasons, where the focus was on the institution, rather than the people. Those are stumbling blocks that get in the way of what we are called to be, the light of the world, serving and loving our neighbors, attentive to their needs, not the institutions.
Trust in God’s promises and live your life with that certainty, do not shrink away and isolate yourself, trust, and be the light.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to see our neighbors how you see them, as precious, and loved, not labels that are applied. For our leaders and decision-makers, help them to put people before the institutions. Above all, give us the humility to ask for forgiveness when we go astray. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.