Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for May 17, 2020; The Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 17:16-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21
Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver… but you brought us to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:8-10,12b
With weeks of quarantine and being separated from loved ones, this passage of testing and refining, of feet slipping and burdens, can be felt worldwide. However, this passage also proclaims praises upon praises. It speaks of victory and abundance. Not only does God work all this in order for us to receive victory and abundance following the testing. In Christ, He works victory and abundance in the midst of the testing. I believe this, and I say this first hand.
Yes, with weeks of quarantine and being separated from loved ones, with life being out of sorts and the world treading on new ground, it is no secret that people have been feeling the weight of the pandemic. People have been voicing their burdens- emotional, physical, mental, financial. We all have been feeling, at least a little bit, the weight of it all, and that is not even including depth of pain of those people who have experienced the death of loved ones because of it. There is no doubt there have been questions by some of God’s testing or God’s reasons for allowing this virus to sweep over the whole earth. Our lives have been and are being changed. The routines we knew, no longer exist, and we have been forced to stop, adjust, and create a new normal. Our minds have been forced to be still.
It’s in the midst of this refining and our adjusting, I have seen and experienced first hand how God, in the midst of it all, has brought about abundance and a new purpose, a fire and a passion, right from my own livingroom. I have seen how God continues to use his children when our minds are open, clear, humble and seeking him. And doesn’t this new normal provide the time and opportunities to do just that- unencumbered time to seek our God?
It has been in this most lonely time of solitude that our God has put on the hearts of a group of ordinary, small town, rural, Godly women a fire and passion for a project for Christ. Because we have been forced to stop and be refined, he has provided us the time and clarity to get caught up in the excitement and motivation of proclaiming his name, spreading his word and serving others. Our hearts and minds are focused on our Lord and reaching out to others like never before, and I believe, we would not have paid attention to the opportunity nor attentive to the Holy Spirit fanning the flames of this project in our hearts, if we had not been given this testing, this refining, this clearing of our schedules and minds. I also believe we are not unique. I believe God is filling and desires to fill all his children in such a way. I am in awe and thanksgiving that our Lord desires to fill us, and to use us according to his purpose.
Therefore, stop and acknowledge your refining. Go to God. Desire to seek him and know him, and he will fill you to overflowing. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) You may not know where He will lead, but you can trust that you, and all those who seek him with you, will be brought to abundance and you won’t be able keep yourself from proclaiming, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name!” (Psalm 103:1)
Prayer: Dear Lord, I don’t know how you do it, but you can take the most terrible earthly thing, and turn it into something that allows our souls to soar and our hearts to overflow with joy and anticipation. Be with me now as I desire to seek you, to know you, and to be filled to overflowing with your peace and purpose. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!