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  • Ed Hlad

Alive

Yesterday was the first day of my life that I walked outside and viewed the world as a dangerous place. Even after 9-11, my heart was heavy and I was concerned for our world but I did not really believe that little Jacobstown was in any grave danger. Yesterday, though, as I walked outside into the bright sunshine and looked at the beautiful oak tree out in front of our church, I found myself not fully seeing the beauty of the day but I was thinking that somewhere out there lurks an unseen enemy that has jumbled up my world. Every decision I had to make that day was tainted by this enemy. I even made myself chuckle as I thought of all the places I could not go that evening. I chuckled because, when I could go to them, I didn’t...but now that I couldn’t go, I missed them. We are living in some unique days for our generation. We live with more legitimate concern that we did a few days ago. That is an appropriate response given the circumstances. We cannot allow that concern to be the kind of fear that grips us and controls us but it does cause us to pause and think through our lives. It causes us to be more cautious. That is a good thing. Lord willing, we will be wise and make good decisions concerning our activities and health. I would like to share with you one thing that I have been enjoying about this season of life. The amount of Scripture that people are sharing and how that Scripture seems to jump off the page at us. We find our hearts leaping for joy at the truth and then that joy reaches our mouths and we give affirmation. It is as if those verses were designed to specifically speak to our present circumstances. Like God knew, back when the Word was written, just what to say into our lives today. Imagine that. I particularly enjoy the passages from the Psalms that first speak of our raw emotions and then they turn our hearts to the praise of our great God. It is the path that so many of us are walking lately. We find that our work has shut down for weeks and our hearts are gripped with worry and fear. We begin down a dark path that could easily swallow us. But then we read his holy word and we are reminded of his great power and love. These truths lead us to him and we are enveloped by his loving arms. Our hearts are lifted up and our mouths give him praise. What an opportunity to witness, once again, just how alive and powerful the Word of God is. We can actively see and hear our Lord speaking to us through his gift given to us. We are reminded of his presence with us and that he truly does understand what is happening in our lives. We rejoice in the truth that he is never out of control and that even this is measured by him. I am rejoicing in the joy of seeing and hearing his children eagerly sharing with anyone who will listen what God has spoken into their hearts and lives. Even from six feet away you can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices as they share how excited they are to have heard from God. It is a blessing and a gift during this difficult time. Let me end with one verse that I am eagerly desiring to share. “Return, O my soul to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Ps 116:7. I have a tendency to wander away from the one who provides and gives me all things. I look for rest in people, the gifts God has given to me, the routine of life, my savings, in truth, I often look for rest in everything but God. It is these difficult times, where I realize that I control nothing, that I return to him who alone can give rest. That is a great word...rest. In this verse, it is not a state of being but rest is our loving Father. So nice to rest in his arms and allow him to handle things from here. My soul is quieted and it allows me to, once again, see the beauty instead of the danger of this world.

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