I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard a lot of Christians lately encouraging me not to worry. Over the radio, over social media, over the television, via text, and in-person.
It’s a good reminder. Don’t worry. Don’t be anxious. Worrying won’t add a single day to your life. Not only that, but the depth and breadth of your worry is a sort of opposite-reflection of the depth and breadth of your faith.
Times are hard right now. It’s easy to stand in the shadow of fear, panic, and anxiety. Why? Because fear, panic, and anxiety are everywhere. E. V. E. R. Y. W. H. E. R. E.
I’m not here to tell you not to worry, though. You’ve already heard it, and I’m sure you’ve heard it by people way more eloquent than me.
Today we’re going to talk about something different.
I came across the tenth verse of Psalm 143 this morning, and it grabbed me. The psalmist is fleeing from an enemy and is asking God to intervene. He’s begging for help. Then, right smack in the midst of his plea for deliverance, he says this:
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
There’s a lesson in there. Probably several, but I’ll focus on two. (1) No matter how impossible or painful life gets, we can turn to God for help. (2) No matter how impossible or painful life gets, we should want to do God’s will.
Most of us know the first one, right? We’ve been there and done that. When life is hard, we turn to God for help. Hopefully, our turning to Him is part of a regular habit. It’s much easier to turn to God during difficulties if we’re already used to doing so. I’ve been known to say that faith is like a muscle – you need to exercise it on a regular basis in all the little ways so that it’s strong enough to handle the big stuff that comes along.
Most of us also know that we should seek to do God’s will. I think, though, that we can forget that in the midst of the current crisis. We tend to hunker down and switch into survival mode when life hits us with a brick wall…and then keeps pouring more bricks on.
Some of us are on lockdown and discouraged from leaving our homes. Some of us are suddenly homeschooling children that were only recently going off each morning to the school house. Some of us are working from home when we have no idea how to use the technology. Some of us are ill or have loved ones who are fighting for their lives.
It seems like those bricks just keep coming one right after the other. We can barely get our breath from one hit before the next one comes barreling toward us. It’s hard, sometimes brutal.
Right there in the midst of those bricks raining down on our heads, though, we should still want to do God’s will. If we’re lost and confused about what that might look like, we can turn to Him. Like the Psalmist, we can ask God to teach us how to do His will. The Bible’s a great place to learn what God wants for you. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that Scripture is the best place to get to know God and what He desires for your life.
I’m going to share a small little piece of God’s will with you today. I could tell you that we’re called to suffer with Christ or that it’s God’s will that we die to self and pick up our cross to follow Christ. Those are both true. This is the one I want to leave you with today, though:
“…always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15b-18)
Isn’t that a good note on which to end today’s post?
Seek to do good to others.
And do those things no matter the circumstance. That means even when the bricks are pouring down, the sun on our faces is a distance memory, and better days feel like they’re so far away that we may never see them again. Yes, even then.
You’re in my prayers today.
In the meantime, if you’ve found a creative way to do good to others during this pandemic, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.