2019-07-08 Sitting On The Sideline.

Good Morning!

Well, that went by fast, didn’t it? I’m talking about the 4th of July. In a blink of an eye, it’s in the rearview mirror. Wow.

I’m troubled today because I’m seeing a slow-motion train wreck unfolding before my eyes. I have an opinion of what needs to be done, but it’s not my place to give it. The stakes are very high, but I’m not sitting at the poker table, so-to-say.

So, I pray. I’ve been studying pertinent bible verses to incorporate into my prayer. I’ve learned that my God is all for the helpless and completely against any who harm them. I mean really against them. What’s hard is looking down a predictable path, knowing full well there will be harm, and not being able to do anything about it.

I guess a common reaction might be to question God. Why doesn’t he do something about it? Why won’t he change someone’s heart so that they do the right thing? Why doesn’t he answer our prayer? Maybe he does, but not in ways we ask or are willing to see. And, the fact of the matter is that there is consequence to sin. Sometimes, innocent people get harmed by the sin of others. Sin hurts everyone, even the most innocent.

It’s fair to say that I know very little of all this compared to the agony God must endure. I see only one little slice. God sees it in all the people I know plus the countless numbers in all the nations and places that I know nothing about. I can’t find the verse, but there is one that God weeps daily over our sin. If I’m feeling the way I do about this one situation, imagine what God must feel!

Here’s the thing. The more I understand God, the more I am drawn to him in times such as this. I don’t understand the world at all. Heck, I don’t understand my own self and my own sin. Only when I minimize my sin am I able to point my finger at someone else. This should cause me to help others rather than accuse them. My own sin wearies me. Thankfully, God is here for me. God offers me comfort and rest.

Matthew 11:25-30 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Notice the beginning of this. “At that time.” When was that? Right after Jesus declared to the people their rejection of John the Baptist’s message (of Jesus as the Christ) and after he condemned Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for their unbelief. Yet, for those whom he chooses, we find rest.

I find great comfort knowing God has provided rest for me, not only on that day I am in heaven but here on earth as well. I seek God and find comfort in the worst of storms. He’s always here for me. This is not artificial comfort; this is the real thing.

So, what can I do in my situation today? First and foremost, I need to seek God and his rest and comfort. If I try to make sense out of this world, I will go insane because the whole world is out of its mind. I have a refuge that I need to stay very close to. Can I do anything about the situation of others? Certainly. I can pray according to what I see in scripture. I see God desiring to protect the innocent. I see God executing judgment against those who harm others. I see God extending mercy on those to whom he chooses.

I can pray that his will be done. I can volunteer myself for an active-duty assignment, if he so chooses to use me. I need to remember that God isn’t looking for another know-it-all with an opinion. The world is already full of those! No, he needs something entirely different, someone who can deliver a message of grace, hope, and mercy that is only available in Jesus, my Lord.

Maybe God will use me, and maybe he won’t. That’s his call. I must be just as enthusiastic about sitting on the bench as I am going into the game. There is a time for everything. Maybe my own heart isn’t ready for a particular assignment. Maybe the other heart isn’t ready. Who knows? God does, not me. Still, I need to be paying close attention for that time when he does call me to action. I need to be prepared and ready. What better way to do that then to study scripture and pray it back to God? When I am wide-eyed for God, he will reveal things to me.

Father, it’s all in your hands. May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.f

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

Photo by Travis Essinger on Unsplash

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