At today’s press conference on the Coronavirus Vice President Pence painted an unrealistic rosy picture and seemingly eschewing science, which he has been prone to do, never recommended that we wear masks. He did however say several times that we should pray. Now let’s be clear we should wear masks, we should practice social distancing, we should avoid large gatherings and we should do all those things because it has proven to be the best way to slow the spread of the virus and make no mistake the Lord does expect that we will take care of ourselves. That we will treat ourselves with love and consideration. Because as it is written in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
So Pence was half right.
We must do what is medically prudent to protect ourselves. However it would be wrong to openly dismiss or mock his calling for us to pray as a nation. Prayer is after all a very powerful tool and if we have faith in HIM the Lord is our most powerful ally. 1 John 5:14-15 states:
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
We know that it is precisely in times like this that Satan will try to shake the faith of even the strongest. He will ask them to look to the heavens and ask the Lord why have you foresaken us. But it also precisely at these times that we must lean on our faith, open our hearts and remember that we are children of the Lord and even if we do not understand why some things are taking place know this, HE still walks with us, still breathes life into us each day and HE does so because HE loves us and will never turn away from us. The Bible tells us this in many verses including Deuteronomy 31:8:
8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
And Isaiah 41:10:
10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
There are times when I have doubt, when my body is weaken from illness and fear creeps into my mind. It is at those times that I call on my faith to strengthen me and guide me back to my spiritual journey. I empty my mind, close my eyes and talk to the Lord. I tell HIM that I believe in HIM, his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and it is with this faith that I cast aside my fears and replace them with the belief that it is at HIS hand that I shall be healed. But I am also acutely aware that prayer for prayer sake is not enough. It is important that I remember that my prayers can only only work to revive my mind, body and soul with the Lord and I can only be with the Lord if I truly have faith in HIM.
So in these troubling times take the necessary steps to protect yourself and those around you. But also believe and lean on your faith. Take the Vice President’s advice and pray because the Lord is listening.
The last few mornings I woke up up at the ridiculous hour of 5:00 am. Lying in my bed attempting to drift back off to the peaceful bliss of sleep for a few more hours I could not help but notice the sound of birds chirping outside my window. I thought to myself I never hear these birds any other time of the day but every morning rain or shine as the sun makes it appearance in the morning sky these birds begin their song like clockwork. Their song is but one of the many things all around us that despite a worldwide pandemic, racial unrest and an economy that has seen tens of millions lose their jobs we take for granted. There song is a message that despite all the chaos in the world today the Sun still rises in the east, the Earth still circles the sun and the birds still sing.
Being single with a pre-existing heart condition I often find myself physically alone as well as alone in my thoughts these days and despite being blessed in so many ways that it is hard to quantify, there are times I find myself questioning why. Why have I never been able to find that special someone to spend my life with? Why have I not been blessed with the gift of a child? Why do I have this heart condition? Have I done something so wrong in my life that I’m being punished? I know I have not lived a perfect life. I know I have sinned but I am only human and in the grand scheme of things I have lived a good life, tried to do what is right and help others where I could. So why? But as I laid there this morning alone in my thoughts I listened to the bird’s song and realized that despite everything their song was a blessing, their song told me that the Lord has breathed life into my nostrils so that I may see another day and hear their song. While my life may not have gone according to some abstract blueprint I put together in my mind I was blessed to wake each morning and hear the song of the birds. A song that for the first time I could really hear. A song that reminded me of all that I am blessed to have, things that that I sometimes take for granted. A song that reminded me that the Lord is always with me, walking beside me, guiding me, protecting me, and with that thought I smiled and drifted back to sleep to the song of the birds.
We live in a society where so many still have hate in their heart, including our so called leaders. Men and women who are supposed to lead us, protect us and guide us through these turbulent times. Leaders who are without empathy. Leaders who are selfish and wicked. Yet despite all that is going on around us, the evil that is thrust upon us, we must remain true to our faith. To know and to believe that our true leader is not a man or woman who walks among us but is the Lord and he has not forsaken us. He continued to walk with us, guide us, strengthen us, protect us and it is He who will pass the final judgement on all those who seek to harm us.
We are going through trying times and some of us may feel isolated and alone. Some of us depressed and overwhelmed. But in the darkest of hours it is important to keep the faith, to continue to believe, to know that no matter what we may be experiencing he has not abandoned us. For we are his children and he loves us. Find within you the strength to cast aside your doubts and fears. For he is still protecting us, strengthening us, healing us and guiding us and when the time is right he will rain down his blessings on us and Doctors and Scientists will find the vaccine and treatment that will see us through this.
It’s song time again. This time a mash up thanks go out to Alicia Keys, Eric Benet and Tamia
Some people live for the power
Some people think that the physical things define what’s within
And I have been there before, and that life’s a bore
Some people want it all
But I don’t want nothing at all
If it ain’t got you Lord
You see I never knew such a love could be inside of one
And I never knew what my life was for
But now that I’ve open my heart and soul to you I know for sure
You see I was incomplete till the day you I let you into my heart Lord
And I never knew that my heart could feel so precious and pureNow every morning when I wake and open my eyes
I know my heart is beating because you’re by my side
So I cry out and let the whole world know
That you’re my Lord and I’m your child
I let everyone know that I devote my life to you
I don’t need diamonds
Or lots of money
Don’t need the world handed to me on a silver platter
All I need you is you in my life Lord
Because all of that means nothing
If I ain’t got you Lord
If I ain’t got you
There are some people who look everywhere for wealth
And they’ll do anything to find it
Some of them find it but still don’t know happiness
Cause they haven’t open their hearts and souls to you
Haven’t been touched by your Holy Spirit
Don’t know how much happiness you provide How much love you have for us
All from just one touch of your hand
A touch like no other no touch A touch that feels so wonderful
I found my happiness in you Lord
I know your love is pure and true
And as the days and the weeks and the years go by
I know you’ll always be there for me
Your love has already saved my life, my heart and my soul
So I’ll keep praising you each and every day In good and bad times
I’ll let the whole world know you’re my Lord
And I’m your child
I devote my life to you
Today I found my mind racing with worry about something that I am dealing with. Then I got up from my desk to go to the men’s room (TMI I know) and did so without grabbing my cane. On the way back I noticed no limp, no stagger, almost like nothing ever was wrong. Not bad I thought I am getting so much stronger everyday and that’s when my inner Keanu Reeves took over WHOA! I thought that’s it exactly, I’m getting stronger everyday. When did I start getting stronger? When I put my faith in the Lord and started doing things like walking everyday and riding the exercise bike, when I quit worrying about will I ever walk like before. That’s when I started getting stronger.
So why am I letting worry consume me now?
Look what the Lord has already done for me.
Look at all I have to be grateful for.
I only need to keep my faith in the Lord and keep working on a solution because worry can only fill my soul with fear. But faith in the Lord and action on my part will lead me to the successful outcome I seek. In this I have no doubt because with Him nothing is impossible.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 New International Version (NIV)
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
They see the smile, a smile that conceals the pain behind it.
They see the many friends, friends that hide the loneliness within you.
They hear the laughter, laughter that disguises the depression you feel.
They watch as you reach out to all those who need help never imagining you secretly covet someone to reach out to you.
Your face is a mask and you are but an actor. But there are fleeting seconds when the stage lights dim, the crowd empties out and now alone you remove your mask and to see the tears that are streaming down your face.
But in those seconds know this, you are not alone. There is someone who feels your pain, knows your loneliness and sees your depression. Someone who has always loved you and whose arms have always been outstretched toward you. That someone is the Lord and all you need to do is believe. Believe that if you put your faith in Him in time He will relieve you of your troubles and you will need your mask no more.
So this morning I’m in the shower this morning and I look to my left out the frosted window. Now you can’t see anything unless it’s right up against the window and even then it’s hard to make out. But this morning there it was clear as day what I could only assume was a twig has lodged it self between the bottom and top pane.
Well this twig was shaped like a cross.
Just a twig that happened to look like a cross?
You could believe that but I choose to believe that a twig in the shape of a cross whose image in a frosted window came through as clear as day was the Lord saying Carl as you start the week know that I got you everything going to be OK.
May you all have a blessed week!