Recently, a friend mentioned part of the Bible passage below as one that had been helpful to her as she has battled cancer during the past 6+ months. It has been a fight too! She had to have chemo–two kinds. Now she is getting a break before the mastectomy. She has a good prognosis, but it is a bad cancer. They had to throw the book at it, medically speaking. It would have been hard in the best of times. In the middle of a pandemic? Ugh!
I think almost everyone can describe much of the past year that way. Most of us haven’t had to fight cancer. But COVID has definitely shaken us in a variety of ways. For some, it has affected your ability to even make a living! Some of you have lost dear friends or family members to the disease. It has interrupted our worship in a variety of ways and definitely the community within our local churches as we have each sought to set our own limits to what would be wise for our families.
The isolation has taken its toll in ways that can’t always be quantified. But there have also been opportunities for our roots to dig down deep during this time into the places we know are truly important and foundational. That has been a very good part of it. Time I once wasted on silly things, I now spend in writing, thinking about GOD and what His Word teaches about Him. It has been helpful to think a little more and run around a little less. I have been able to take some online classes that weren’t available before. They have also been very helpful in my personal spiritual growth.
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised,
“Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”
This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—
that is, things that have been made—
in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:26-29 ESV
All of us have had our foundations shaken this year in many ways.
There is no question that our worlds have been shaken this year. It has not only been due to COVID. We have had racial turmoil that was not new, but has shown its ugly face in ways couldn’t ignore. As we look at it closer, we see that we as the American church have not reached across racial lines to incorporate more diversity. The exceptions often prove the rule. We have not loved one another well when it comes to people who are different from us–socio-economically, racially, and in other ways. We like to be with people that are like we are. We don’t like to make the effort we have to, to incorporate those who are different, into our churches or into our lives. It is scary and hard. In the end, it might not even work out well. What if we fail? Our success foundation is shaking for sure.
On top of all of that, we had an election–a divisive one!
Then we had an election. It was a mess! It wasn’t the first election where there was name calling. It’s just that it had been four years of name calling and total lack of cooperation left over from the last election.
Sadly, our country had about 1/2 the country who voted for one man and about 1/2 who voted for our new president. The balance is borne out in both the House and the Senate. In order for us to have “unity,” there will need to be some listening to what is believed by 1/2 of the country. But that isn’t going to happen it seems if early actions are an indication.
Do I think only one side has been at fault? No. But it will take a commitment on the part of both sides to bring about a measure of peace. I don’t see it happening. That’s when we must realize that, as another friend has said, “The cross is not wrapped in the American flag!” There have been times when I wondered if people thought that. You know it isn’t true! If the US crashed tomorrow, as hard as it would be, the world would go on and Christ’s Kingdom would still continue. Sometimes, it is hard for us to believe. If our foundations are politically based, we will be finding our life very skewed and looking a lot like the house in the photo.
It is very important that we separate our political views from our Christian faith in the sense that we assume those who believe the way we do are more Christian and those who believe differently are less so. Unless we are able to do this, we are going to have more problems. Communicating with those who are different will continue to be even more difficult.
We have to ask ourselves where our foundations truly are?
And that is the point of these times of shaking, isn’t it? That we understand where our foundation lies. Does it lie in Jesus, not in who is president, which party is in power, or anything to do with politics? GOD is in control…period.
During the past five years, I’ve had to remind myself of the fact that GOD is in control of every aspect of my life…my husband’s health, my ability to learn to do new things I didn’t know how to do, And now, the timing of when we can get out COVID shots. Yes, we want the protection. GOD has protected us so far. Is He able to protect us until we get the shot? He is able to. But if it is our time to go, nothing will stop that either. He is in control.
All this shaking of our foundations shows us how sturdy our foundations are. If Jesus is our only foundation, we are in great shape. However, we often have other foundations we build on. They are things we like to add to Jesus that we think we need in addition to Him. They may have to do with a certain economic status, a certain status of living, a certain level of health, a certain ability to plan ahead, a certain level of independence or comfort. You know what your little foundation is that you want. It may have been shaken this year. A few of mine have for sure.
I’m just learning more and more that I am weak. I am dependent on GOD to protect and care for me in ways I never felt before. But honestly, that is truly a good thing. He is good, He loves me. He is with me. He will provide what I need.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise
the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,
so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul,
a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
Hebrews 6:17-19 ESV
Action plan: The shaking GOD has been doing in your life may be calling you back to basics. Where are you basing your life foundations? The life shakings I have had, have definitely caused some recalibrating for me. They may be for you too. Talk to GOD. Read His Word. Listen to what He has to say to you with His loving, tender, kind voice. He will make it clear. If any forgiveness is needed; He forgives! He guides. He gives wisdom. Blessings.