The Lord is Near

As I look back on 2020, I would say that through every new situation I was faced with, every disappointment I experienced or had to help my kids walk through, and every use of the word “unprecedented,” the number one comfort has been that GOD IS WITH ME. He is unchanging, caught off guard by nothing, sustaining, faithful, kind, and always good. 

This Advent season I have been reading a lot about peace and joy—these are huge themes as we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus and look forward to Jesus’ return. But in the midst of the day to day that we have all experienced, peace and joy can seem out of place. As a Believer in Jesus, I can have peace in disruptive circumstances. I can experience joy in hard times. 

Soooo, Am I? In these days, in these past months, have peace and joy marked my life? 

My kids are watching Josh and me. Every night at the dinner table we discuss, in some way, shape or form, current events. We hear them vent their frustrations. We hear and encourage their critical thinking. 

Experiencing peace and joy doesn’t mean living oblivious to reality. It’s a wide awake grasp of reality firmly planted up against the facts about Who God is. 

We won’t live in fear of a virus or of cancer or of a car accident because we can trust our lives to a Sovereign God.

We won’t fight tooth and nail to protect our health by isolating and being afraid of germs because this is not our home and we aren’t committed to only here and only now. We know there is life after death, and we know where we are going. We can trust God with all that life brings our way. 

We will pray for God’s protection. We will ask Him to hold back the virus’ spread. We will pray for those who are sick to be healed. We will pray to be shaken awake to the reality that many people who have died this past year have died without Jesus. I pray this breaks our heart more than our own disappointments or our own inconveniences over all that Covid has created. 

So I end with how I started. Our only comfort is GOD IS WITH US. Do you know Him?

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord aways, again I will say, Rejoice!

Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The LORD IS NEAR.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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