Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Week Forty-Seven - Pandemics and Politics

I read Lysa TerKeurst's book, Uninvited, several years ago. At that time, I took away one truth that has stayed with me, and today, as I reread the same chapter, that truth gripped my heart again. She writes, "I can choose to bring my emptiness or God's fullness into any situation I face."

The first time I captured this truth, I pictured myself entering a room full of strangers. That always petrified me. I fear new situations and people I don't know because I feel socially clumsy and insecure, I guess. You'd think a person would outgrow those feelings, but I never have. So, working with the picture of God going into the room ahead of me gives me a bit more courage. I've even learned to stop and pray, asking Him to go in first when I felt I wanted to turn and run instead.

That simple prayer calms my nerves, gives me a quiet sense of confidence, and helps everything work out much easier. As I thought again about her statement, I saw it in another light. Let me reword it this way, "I can live in my emptiness or God's fullness as I face today's situations."

My nerves have strained during this pandemic. I go from perfect peace to inner tension and an overwhelming need to cry. I'm feeling cooped up, and for the first time in years, I'm longing for family. The political wrangling is leaving me frustrated and weary with the process. I find these two situations emptying me of joy, peace, and purpose.

However, I know if I approach each day in my own strength, empty of power, and entering alone, my emotional roller-coaster will continue. But if I pray before the day starts, before I hear a newscast or read a post, and before I allow my mind to start bemoaning my fate, I enter the day in God's fullness. He goes before me.

And what difference does that make? Well, I have more joy because praise and hope come more easily.  I find more peace because He has already overcome the world, and through Him, I am an overcomer, too. And I find purpose because He is working all things according to the purpose of His own will as we read in Ephesians 1:11. He gives my life purpose, even in a lockdown.

I put up a post on Facebook this week by Oswald Chambers that read, "Never allow the thought - I am of no use where I am, because you certainly can be of no use where you are not." That's so true. The enemy wants us to believe the restrictions we are experiencing nullify or hinder our purpose. But where are we? We are exactly where the purpose of God has designed. He has entered the room, and we are invited to join Him!

That simple truth means His fullness is already in the situation. If I refuse to join Him, I remain empty.  If I hesitate at the door, my frustration grows. I am best to launch out into His fullness and be filled, as Ephesians 3:19 says, "with all the fullness of God."

"I can choose to bring my emptiness or God's fullness into any situation I face." Any situation, be it pandemics or politics!

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