Hey friends, how are you today? It is another beautiful day in my neck of the woods. Today’s high temperature is a marvelous 87° under a brilliant, bright, blazing, beautiful sun. I love days like these and thankfully, praise the Lord, lately, we’ve had quite a few days like these. Days that remind me to ‘look up”; days that remind me that the Lord is God of this universe; days that jog the memory into reflecting on the goodness and grace of a good God. I recall, on days like these, that I have a choice to be grateful that I am counted among the living and that’s only because of the precious mercy of God. I choose to rejoice in this day because this is the day that the Lord has made…
2020! Wow, who knew, right? Did you know and didn’t tell me? Perhaps a little warning have been nice, then maybe I would be better prepared and we’re just into the first half of the year. Well… if the first six months are any indication of what this year holds, I suppose we could say, we’ve been warned.
Is God still GOD? Did He abdicate His throne? For a minute there, I might have forgotten these truths, I glanced at the issues which have plagued our world and although I did not say the words out loud, I may have temporarily thought my God was not enough; He was not powerful enough, mighty enough, strong enough, good enough, fAithful enough. One of the most beautiful knowledge of God is His stability and dependency. He is dependable and faithful which leads to His trustworthiness.
I’ve had reason to go back to a familiar passage of scripture that has been my source of hope when life throws a curve ball, which may threaten my foothold, and this is Psalm 27. I love this passage of scripture from the first to the fourteenth verse. I can’t choose a favorite from this chapter because they are all so good; go ahead, read it in its entirety, I promise… you will not regret it. The Lord gives hope in this chapter of Psalms. He reminds us, in verse one, of His character; He is our light and salvation, He is the strength my life. With Him, I need not fear anything or anyone. He tells me to seek His face and my only response is in the affirmative. He reminds me that there is always hope as long as I have life and that I aught to wait on Him and while I wait, I should also be of good cheer. It is possible to endure hardships with joy when I keep my eyes on the Lord.
At the beginning of the year, I did what I usually do; I made plans. I talked to the Lord about those plans; plans to lose weight (again) plans to grow and become, plans to attend our first born’s college graduation, plans to celebrate my milestone birthday, plans to go on vacation and just travel more; good plans (or so I thought). Well… 2020 came, brought some mild temperatures for winter in Upstate NY for the month of January and I thought we were off to a good start. Boy was I wrong! Our God always meant for 2020 to be exactly what it has, so far, turned out to be, none of its circumstances sneaked in and took Him by surprise. All of 2020 has been for His glory and for our good. Someone said 2020 is the year for change and what a profoundly true statement, this had turned out to be, so far.
Change! This word usually brings with it, discomfort, distress and sometimes disappointments. I prefer gradual change; slow and of course it would be nice to be told that change is coming, so then I could somehow prepare myself. But that’s not how our God usually works, is it? Change in the midst of chaos and confusion and commotion; if only I was ready, Lord, if only I was ready!
But what does it take to be ready for life’s curveballs? The unanticipated, unforeseen, unexpected and usually unwanted ones? I’m not sure we can ever be fully prepared for such a time, but we can have hope, we can enjoy peace in the midst of it, we can find the beauty in the very trial simply because we can trust the God of the Universe. We can trust in His goodness and grace. We can trust in His justice and mercy teamed with forgiveness. We can trust in the knowledge that He finishes what He starts, He never leaves an incomplete job. We can trust in His faithfulness. Our God is trustworthy, and His promises are very true.
We hold with both hands to the Almighty and All-Powerful God when we spend time in His Word. We are stabilized in a sea of chaotic waves when we trust in the Word of God. Though our foundation may shake, our Anchor is immovable and rock steady, eventually we get over to the other side with our faith intact and we are better for the change. As a matter of fact, now we are even thankful for the change because it has made us stronger and more confident. When we believe the Word of God and prioritize our communion with Him, we find that joy and beauty in spite of our circumstances.
The past few weeks have a bit emotional for me with too many memories but also with great opportunities to talk and discuss the social injustices in our country. I thank the Lord for you; thank you for standing in the gap for us, we appreciate you. Together, united as the people of God, we can bring hope, we can show the world what harmony looks like, in spite of our race. In a perfect world, the color of our skin should not define us, but we do not live in a perfect world. As Christians we serve a perfect God though, the God who created every ethnic group, every tribe, every person beautifully and in His very own image. We dishonor Him when we treat others as less than, when throughout His Word, He gives clear cut rules of the way everyone should be treated.
I am a Christian who is black. My blackness does not define my Christianity; my Christianity defines who I am and the person I am becoming. Make no mistake though, I am proud to be a black person, I can assure you, my God did not make a mistake when He made me. How do you see me?
How have you been? Who are you becoming?