I am pretty sure, like me, you feel bombarded with what is going on all around us- the news of CoVid 19, the collapse of the stock market, job loss, and fears for our future. How can we as God’s people keep ourselves in peace during times like these?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. As I’m nearing my thirties, the things that I haven’t yet done are becoming more evident. The house that I haven’t yet bought. The husband that I haven’t yet found. The kids I want so desperately but haven’t yet had. The degree I haven’t yet earned. With each passing month comes a new realization of how fast time is going, and the feeling of a life that is seemingly passing me by.
At the core of our being, and vital for life is the heart. We cannot survive without it fulfilling its
primary function of carrying oxygen-rich blood and nutrients throughout the body. It is essential to
physical health, vitality, and strength. It is the source from which our life is given.
Across the big screen in a theater near you (and me), cinematographers have created larger than life avenging personalities for our entertainment and thrill. These characters are empowered with extravagant physical and mental abilities; and can defend the universe with their speed, strength, sharpness, and stamina. They embody capabilities that far exceed what is humanly possible and are virtually invincible.
When we face the most menacing of life’s obstacles, we often imagine ourselves being able to take on characteristics such as theirs; able to scale the tallest buildings, fly high above the rooftops, crush enemies beneath our feet, meld or transform into our surroundings or render ourselves invisible. Thus, conquering whatever life must throw at us in the most flamboyant manner and causing quite a stir in the process. The villains of life will have met their match and onlookers would watch in amazement! If only that were possible!
As a young girl I thought of my father as a bit of a super-hero. He seemed so brave, strong, fearless, and fabulous! He could absolutely do anything! I was totally in awe of him, and often walked around with my little feet slid down inside his combat boots trying to imagine being like him. He was tall, rugged, and a handsome military man with a commanding presence. He seemed so powerful to this little girl of 4 or 5. Whenever I needed anything, he could fix it! I knew that all would be righted again if I could just “tell my Daddy” about it, no matter what it was! I could crawl up in his lap, hear his reassuring words, feel his arms around me, and know that I was secure and loved.
Nothing delighted me more than to spend time with my super-hero. Whether I was watching him fix a car, tinker on a project, play his guitar, work in the yard, fly a helicopter, or stand in a pulpit to preach a sermon, he was SUPER! To this day, I have not known his equal. He was extraordinary, exceptional, and incredible to be around. Nothing could substitute for the feeling of being with this larger-than-life man! No villain, imagined or otherwise, could harm me just as long as I stayed in the shadow of my hero!
Just like that awe-struck child looking up at her Daddy, our heavenly Father longs to have us gaze into His presence with wide-eyed wonder, admiration, and awe. He longs to have us with Him, to dwell in safety and to stay by His side! He encourages us to rest in His shadow, away from all harm and danger! Psalm 91:1-4 says,
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Just as an impressionable child idolizes and admires their earthly father, so our heavenly Father longs to have us feel about Him. He wants us to desire the sweetness of His fellowship and closeness; to listen intently when He speaks and thrill as He demonstrates His awesome power and presence in our lives. He is certainly worthy of our admiration and His power and might should indeed leave us awestruck and in wonder!
Better than Fiction
He is more than a Hollywood super-hero could ever capture and more than all imagination and creativity could ever portray. He is more than amazing, more than incredible, and more than our human frailty will ever comprehend! He is marvelous, miraculous, full of splendor, glory, power, and might! He is our Defender, our Warrior, Protector, God Almighty, our Heavenly Father, the true Super-Hero of all humanity! He has conquered our sin, triumphed over death, defeated hell, and the grave! He has thwarted the evil plans of our enemies, broken chains of despair and darkness; He is light eternal and He reigns victorious forevermore!
There has never been, nor will there ever be a Super-Hero greater! No, not in any theater, not on any stage; no one is more or better! He longs to write His autograph across the life pages of your heart and mine! He is hoping that you and I will realize that we have been given a front row seat for the best performance in history: His redemptive purchase of our very lives through the sacrifice of His own. Come near for an up-close and personal look! Come near and rest there; ever to remain in His shadow, the shadow of prevailing love and grace. Live in the shadow of a Hero, THE HERO, the Super-Hero Christ our Lord! Amen!
Read also: The love of a father
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
What Would Jesus Do?
Sometimes I don’t want to admit that I’m a Christian. It isn’t that I’m ashamed of Jesus. I’m not embarrassed to say He’s my Savior. I just don’t want to be identified with the hateful throngs of people who say they follow Jesus, but espouse hate, judgment and anger towards anyone who thinks differently than them. If you look at any political, social, or ecumenical issue, there’s always an angry group of people, calling themselves Christians, shouting, name-calling and claiming God hates the other side.
Can you imagine Jesus typing nasty comments on social media to someone who disagreed with Him?Kaity
Jesus never once did this, and He was perfect. Can you imagine Jesus typing nasty comments on social media to someone who disagreed with Him? Can you see Him outside of an abortion clinic with signs yelling and hating people inside? No, I imagine Jesus would walk up to those people, sit alongside them, and tell them He loves them. He would invite them to partake of the Living Water just as He did to the woman at the well. He didn’t scold her or judge her. He welcomed her to come walk with Him.
Behind Closed Doors
I have to admit, though I am not publicly berating or shaming others, I do it behind closed doors and in the caverns of my heart. I judge my neighbor, my husband, my friends. I mumble a sarcastic remark about my husband’s shortcomings. I’m impatient with my friends’ flaws. God has been gently teaching me to clothe myself in the fruits of the spirit, instead of acting out of judgment and self righteousness. It’s really hard! It’s my own natural inclination to act like the god of my little world and judge those around me.
“Lord, teach us to be more like You. Show us to show your love and mercy to those around us, instead of acting out in harsh judgment. Help others see the Light and Hope through our words and actions. Let us show a dark world what it means to be a Christian.”
Read also: Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.