Do you ever get tired of it all? By that, I mean, do you ever just take in every thing that seems to be going on and become so very tired? The Covid-19 pandemic has raged on and on, changing so much of our life. We are sequestered from family and friends, barely getting out of our homes, and then just for necessary trips. We wear masks, we sanitize, we are scrupulous when it comes to ways to protect ourselves from the virus. The economy is shaky. The stock market is wildly up, it threatens to crash. The unemployment rate is higher than its been in a very long time, and it keeps seemingly going up. We see lines and lines of desperate people looking for food, looking for relief. There continues to be violence and racism which is being dealt out with deadly and maiming precision when it comes to people of color.
The latest, Jacob Blake, unarmed and shot in the back 10 times. Possibly paralyzed for life. Protests against racist or brutal actions are being staged across the country.
The two major political parties have had, or are having their nominating conventions. Each one is putting forth a vision for the future of our country, and each one is doing so by trying to drag down their opponent. The diatribe coming out of both camps is overwhelming. We have a major hurricane spinning in the Gulf of Mexico, aiming to come ashore between Houston and Lake Charles. We are told it could rapidly intensify between now and when it lands, making devastation even deeper and more widespread. Do you ever just get tired of it all? I do. I get tired of hearing bad news, living bad news, worrying about bad news.
I am reminded amidst all this noise that rages, there is a small voice calling us to step aside from the tumult.
We are encouraged, even in the worst of times. In Psalm 46:10, we’re told, “Be still, and know that I am God!” That’s the word for us when we get exhausted from all that is swirling around us. That’s the word for us when we are just bone tired from all that we see, hear and experience. To draw ourselves away from the raging mess, and concentrate and focus our attention on the one who is with us, God.
I want to pray for our political parties. I want to pray for our troubled cities. I want to pray for people of color who are feeling the brunt of racism and violence. I want to pray for those who are suffering economically because of the state of things. I want to pray for those who are suffering physically from this horrible virus, those who struggle with it and those who have lost their lives because of it. I want to pray for the people along the Gulf coast who are going to have to endure the devastating effects of a major storm. I want to pray, but I feel overwhelmed by it all and so very tired. Yet God beckons to me to be still, to know God is in control.
If we see the Psalm 46 in its entirety, its even more powerful…
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Selah) 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. 6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (Selah) 8 Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolation he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. We are not alone. God sees all that is happening and is here for us, as the psalmist says, “a very present help in trouble.” We have no reason to fear, God is here with us. Not only that, God will work through all we are facing, we will be saved and God will be exalted!
This is a word for me and you. We have reason to feel tired and worn out. The situation in itself is so draining, God knows this. Instead of engaging at every point, God encourages us to pull away, to slow down, to stop and simply acknowledge that God is God, and God is in control. When we do what God asks of us, we can get some respite, we can find a renewal of our spirit, we will be able to again pray for all who are in need. My friends, be still today, and know that God is God, and God is with us. Know that God is in control. Let yourself rest from the cares of the world, let God have it and let God work through it. Simply be.
After recouping your strength, then begin to pray. Pray for the world, pray for our country, pray for our politicians, pray for our leaders, pray for those who are oppressed and downtrodden, pray for those who are sick and dying, pray for those who are under stress, pray for those who are facing calamity, pray for you and me. We ARE a people of God, and we are encouraged to take the time to be still, to regain our awareness of God’s power and might in every situation, to give God the glory and praise for all God is doing in our midst. I hope and pray for restful times for you and me ahead. Rest in the comfort of knowing God is in control and is our refuge and strength.
Grace and Peace,