“God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm. Deep in His dark and hidden mines, with never-failing skill, He fashions all His bright designs and works His sovereign will.” William Cowper
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
Anxiety. It seems to be everywhere right now. I have traveled Mississippi a lot this month, from the far south to the far north, and there is a pervasive sense of anxiety everywhere. It seems the present political season has even eclipsed our usual preoccupation with football! I am not proud to confess I have had my own anxious thoughts. It’s not that I think God has left the building, but let’s face it—it does feel like the world has become unhinged. Most of us don’t like to acknowledge our total lack of control over what happens next!
Back in 2008 when the Great Recession hit us, I was anxious then, too. The thought finally occurred to me that I might start memorizing a few of my favorite Psalms so that in my midnight awake-times of anxiety, when the “what-if” tapes played in my brain, I might practice my memory work. That was one of the better decisions I have made in my life. I highly recommend!
I do believe that when the Bible speaks of “taking every thought captive” (see 2 Corinthians 10:5) or “encouraging yourself in the Lord,” (see 1 Samuel 30:6) we can still make a conscious decision to remind ourselves that our God’s power to work in the minds and hearts and decisions of men is as powerful today in 2016 as it was in the days of Moses. After all, we worship the God who changes not. He can still part the sea. Amen.
But sometimes He doesn’t. And that can be really really hard on this side of eternity. Would that He was more like Santa Claus sometimes. But He is not. In the meantime, we trust that His ways really are higher than our ways. He is God. We are not. He doesn’t have to explain, but we who call ourselves His do have to trust Him. He’s got this—whatever “this” may be.
Don’t laugh when I say once again, this is one of my all-time favorite issues. There is no Pollyanna here which is one reason I love this one so much. We have some REAL contributors who show their vulnerability, the chinks in their armor, and their faith that God is indeed still in control.
Tori Nunnelee’s story will definitely require Kleenex. Some parts were hard to write, but I felt so compelled to include them because life, even for Believers, is not always neat and pretty.
I just wish I had known her husband, Alan. What a testimony of two whose faith and walk never faltered no matter what circumstances and afflictions interrupted their best laid plans. If you are struggling to find something for which to give heartfelt thanks right now, by all means, read about the Thankful Boards Tori and Alan invented in the midst of a less than wonderful circumstance.
We introduce a new monthly columnist this month. Scot Thigpen is going to be a regular, writing “Live Life.” Since Martin Willoughby left us to pursue new horizons, I had been praying about a new “man” person who could bring the same depth and Biblical perspective to contemporary issues. I think you will be as excited as I am when you read his first column.
Libbo, our Modern Motherhood columnist, never disappoints. I hope every mother trying to juggle the challenges of giving, giving, and giving to the family who depend on her will find a silver lining in Libbo’s words. Many moms may sometimes feel simply depleted of energy and desire to do this unthankful task one more day. Tune in to Libbo who knows exactly what it is to go 24/7 hoping to find time for even a shower!
And then—I meant to mention the Pilgrims—remember those original Americans who dug seven times more graves than huts in their first winter in the New World. Still, they set aside a day to give thanks. That’s something to contemplate. (I know contemplate is an old word in our instant world, but it is a word we Believers need to re-discover) “Be still, and KNOW that I am God” (Psalm 46: 10). He IS God. Whew. Let the anxiety go.
We Believers, of all people, have a reason to rejoice. God is God. Christ is Lord. He’s coming back. It’s going to be better than okay.
And Happy Thanksgiving!