As this day draws to a conclusion for me I must sit back and take stock for a few minutes. After all, it was a challenging day as we made our adjustments back to school life. I won't lie; there did not seem to be a lot of joy in the day. I would call it more like shell shock. On top of the adjustment back we lost another two students. This is always hard on us both in terms of relationships but also financially. In fact, that seems to be the theme of the day right now.
It appears that almost every one of my friends are facing some kind of financial crisis. This has not been caused by the global financial crisis but other various reasons. There seems to be this daze that has descended on everyone as no one is willing to pose the question, "Will I make it?"
As believers we know all the right words to say and we know what our attitude should be towards these things. Just this morning I was speaking to the students about the attitude of contentment in the face of disappointment or failed expectations. That is our attitude, right? But in all honesty a small panic washes over us any time our future is called into doubt or is threatened. It is better to admit it then to hide it. Hiding it does nothing but admitting it allows us to examine it and seek a solution.
As I contemplate what my friends and I are facing at the conclusion of this day I do what I have so often done; I reach for the Word of God. As I do so my eyes fall on familiar words that provide a peace that nothing can touch:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Blessed can be better understood as happy, joyful, perhaps contented. If we are truly devoted to Jesus as we say we are then we trust him with our future no matter what it may hold for us. We live with one simple truth:
"Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Our eyes are suppose to see so much more than this tired old place. We are not meant to live tired lives, filled with hopelessness, fear and worry. We were meant to live lives that understood eternity, that expected nothing from this place except for the blessings of God. He has a design in place that we are to follow:
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."
What are we doing allowing fear and worry to dominate us? Don't we know that these things are draining us of our flavour? How dare we allow the things that do not last to discolour the glory of the things of eternity. We are so much more than what we are allowing ourselves to be. Is he not the King of all things and all people? Do we not believe that every good and perfect thing is from above? Then why are we fixated on the things that will only discourage us? We are so much more than this by God's design.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
It's about time we get our heads out of our navels and get to what we are suppose to do. We need to stop worrying about ourselves and get involved in people's lives. The Father is occupied with us which means we have nothing to fear. Remember there is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ.
Let's surrender this stuff to the Father and let's get on with what we were called to do. Let's show the world that there is a difference when Jesus is Lord of all.