Reach For The Lord
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. (Psalm 56:3)
When I was young, and even into my teens, I found security in my parents. Not everyone can say this due to different family situations, but I was fortunate enough to have wonderful parents who took care of their family and loved them. I knew that they would always be there for me, feed me, clothe me, help me and comfort me. When I was sick during the night, I would call my mother from my bed until she woke up and came and laid down next to me. During the day as I laid on the couch trying to recover from my cold, my dad would bring me soup and crackers. My mom would buy me orange juice which I always wanted whenever I was sick. These memories, even today, are a comfort to me.
During times like these, when we become fearful because we don’t know what the future may hold, or we become ill, or someone we love becomes ill, we become like little children who want to be comforted. We want to be held and assured not to be afraid, that everything will be ok. My mom used to have a saying that she said all the time, “it’ll all come out in the wash”. I used to chuckle when she said this but I understood the concept. The phrase basically means not to worry, that everything will work out. I now sit and think about the phrase and look at how we do laundry. We throw dirty clothes and materials in the washer, pour in some soap, and wash the items. The washing machine agitator moves the clothes around to wash and get out the stains in the laundry. The agitator emulates the age old motion of hand washing. When we hand wash a piece of clothing, we have to rub the material together, agitating the stain, to get it to come out. The word agitate simply means to shake or move briskly, to move to and fro. There is another meaning – to disturb emotionally. So when we wash our clothes, the stain and dirt is being disturbed, agitated and shaken briskly to remove it from the material so it can become clean again.
At this current moment, we are all being disturbed emotionally. We are all being shaken. We are all frightened like little children due to the pandemic we are experiencing. We live day by day, not knowing the outcome. Sadly, some will make it and some won’t. That right there is a frightening thought. We then become like little children, worried and concerned, wanting to reach for something or someone to comfort us. Some may reach for the wrongs things which can only calm their fears temporarily. But we have the chance to reach for the one thing that will bring permanent comfort…the Bible. We have the chance to reach for the one person who can calm our fears just as our parents had…Jesus. Illness is a part of life, but when it’s severe, as this is, I then have to wonder “Lord, what do you want us to learn from this?” I then think that maybe we are in the Lord’s washing machine perhaps. Sometimes we must become agitated and disturbed to remove what needs to be removed in us. Sometimes, just like a washing machine, we might go through the delicate cycle or the normal cycle in cases of light or normal dirt on our clothes. Other times, the stains may be tough and ground in, and we have put our clothes through the heavy cycle. Sometimes the stain and dirt comes out, and sometimes we have to send it through again, adding more detergent and stain remover. Who is our stain remover? Jesus. Who can wash us clean? Jesus.
At this time, none of us are certain of the future outcome. We are worried about losing loved ones, finances, having enough provisions and, in some ways, resort back to our childhood days of having fear and wanting to be comforted. Please know there is One who can comfort us more than anyone else. There is one whom we do not have to isolate ourselves from because He is immune to all diseases and knows exactly where we are. There is one who is available 24/7 who will be with you when you call upon Him and that person is Jesus.
As we all must remain in our homes for an unknown length of time and have much time on our hands, take a moment to think about what you’ve just read. Is there anything that needs removing from your life or from yourself? Are there any changes you need to make? Is fear overwhelming you? If so, turn your eyes from the current situation and turn them upwards towards Christ and lay your fears and burdens before Him. Philippians 4:6-7 states:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
No one likes to be isolated but it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes we are so busy in life, filling every ounce of our day with errands, work, sports, tv, computer, phones, etc, we leave no time for God or proper rest. Sometimes we don’t give God a second thought until something bad happens, and then we blame Him for being an unloving God. Sometimes, we need to sit quietly by ourselves and rest and think about our life, who we are and if we are living the right way. It’s called a self-inventory. Sometimes it’s good for us to inventory ourselves. We tell people in our program to do this on a daily basis, if possible, at the end of the day. Look at both good and bad to keep a healthy balance.
I encourage you to take sometime today to think about where you are at this time. What could you change in yourself to become a better parent, worker, spouse, neighbor or friend. In times of uncertainty, what are you reaching for to calm your fears and concerns? Is it healthy or unhealthy? Who around you is in need of help and what can you do to assist them? Who around you needs prayer? Next, take a moment to talk to God and present these things before Him. If you need to repent to Him, do it. If you want to give Him thanks and praise, do it. If you are worried and scared, tell Him. If you know of people who need prayer, pray for them.
It’s times like these, the unexpected, that seem to stop us in our tracks. But when we have Jesus, we can have peace in the midst of the storm. All we have to do is seek Him and allow Him to give us that comfort we so long for as we had with our parents or someone close to us. There is one thing we can be sure of…our current situation will be resolved. It will pass. We just have to move in close to God and be patient and have faith in knowing that God is in control.
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4).