Yesterday I searched for a meme that would represent my state of mind and heart. I wanted to hide out—separate myself from the world—to not see or be seen—just so disappointed in what is happening in our nation, cities, in our families ,and in myself. In my mind I pictured an ostrich with his head buried in the sand. I wanted to hide from it all. Whether with my head buried in the sand or under my covers; I wanted it all to go away. But, it is not going away and God won’t let me hide. In fact, it was a great reminder to read the following in Jeremiah 23:24: “Can anyone hide himself in secret places So that I cannot see him?” says the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.”
I confess that I too acted out this week. Disappointed in myself I ask “who was that woman; what caused her to behave that way?” I reacted. I knew I was doing it and yet, I did it anyway. Have you ever behaved inappropriately, known it and yet couldn’t stop yourself? Some may be wondering “how bad could it have been; what did she say or do?” Well, I did the opposite of what I shared in last week’s article. I let pride lead in—yes, I can do it myself. And, my attitude cost me just under $1000 for new tires and car repairs but more than that, I hurt someone I love. As I like to say, oi vey!
I wanted to prove to my husband (who normally handles all auto issues) that I could do it myself. I knew in my heart that there could have been a less expensive option. Even if there wasn’t, it could have been a “we” decision as we have promised to do in our family. And yet…. I was blindsided. What I thought was a simple fix turned out to be more. I was in a hurry and didn’t stop to seek counsel—not from the Lord or from my husband. I was careless and caught unawares. I believed: I can do it myself.
The Bible warns, in Luke 21:34, “Be careful that you never allow your hearts to grow cold. Remain passionate and free from anxiety and the worries of this life. Then you will not be caught off guard by what happens. Don’t let me come and find you drunk or careless in living like everyone else.”
As I was digging deeper in other Bible translations for this verse, I found that “be careful” is translated as: Take heed to yourselves; Be on guard; Take care; Be careful; Watch yourselves; Constantly be on your guard; Beware; Watch out!; Pay attention to yourselves. In researching the meaning of “caught off guard” I found: unawares; without knowing it; inadvertently, without warning, by surprise, suddenly, unexpectedly.
Expect the Unexpected
If we have learned anything this year it’s this: expect the unexpected. Yes, for many of us the pandemic caught us unawares and so have the many events that followed, and are still going on. How can we be better prepared? I can’t imagine many had a supply of masks and/or toilet paper just in case there was a pandemic. Could we ever have imagined the division we see in our nation that has trickled down in some cases to our very families? But God… He has provided a standard—His Word is filled with instructions. He has called us to pray without ceasing—before, during and after (1 Thessalonian 5:17). Prayer is a conversation with God. He wants us to be close. The closer I get to Him, the more I sense His will for my life. Over and over I read that He will direct my path—my steps are ordered by the Lord. I can list so many verses here to support that. As my grandson would say, “Google it!” And, I just did. I googled “He directs my path” and was blessed with many words of encouragement.
But, what do we do now? It’s a mess out there.
We have a choice.
We can continue to react to the events around us or we can respond. Some may say: But, I’m not in a position of authority. I can’t change what’s going on. If you know Jesus, then you have been given spiritual authority. Yes, I invite you to google, “Bible Verses About Spiritual Authority.” The answer for me is still the same… pray without ceasing. I don’t carry a fire arm but I am locked and loaded with the spiritual authority given to me: “For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 AMP
Called To Action
Have you been caught unawares? Have you tried to hide out from all that surrounds us? It’s all about choice isn’t it. How will you prepare for the unexpected?
“if…my people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14 AMP
Photo by Maria Oswalt