This year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs and we haven’t even made it halfway through! January and February were super busy maintaining a class schedule, planning a wedding, and hosting guests from across the Philippines and USA. March was full of more classes, putting regular life back in order, and figuring out married life. Amidst all of this COVID-19 arose. One day in Sunday service the pastor asked us, “Kinsay ang ‘korona’?” (Who has ‘corona’?) The people looked at each other nervously. He then proclaimed loudly that he had hoped everyone did because of having the ‘korona’ of life in their hearts. Everyone had a good laugh and “Amen!”
Last night I read Nehemiah 8 and verse 11 says: “So the Levites quieted all the people saying, ‘Be still, for the day is holy. And do not be grieved and sad’.” Now this is in light of Ezra reading the Book of the Law of Moses but over the last few weeks I have often thought, “Is God telling the world ‘Be Still!’?” I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but here in the Philippines most things are closed until April 14th. That is 2 days following Resurrection Sunday. Is God making us remember to give up thing things of this world and remember what he said, “Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
Believe me I understand this is a depressing time. I cannot see, much less teach my precious students in this time, but I am doing what I can to still be the light to the world. When reading last night I was using the Amplified Bible. Psalm 37 begins: “Fret not yourself … Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart … Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself … (1a, 3, 4, and 7a)
The inner teacher in me brings out one of my many dictionaries…
rely = to depend confidently; put trust in. (trust = reliance on the integrity, justice, etc., of a person)
truly = 1. in a true manner; faithfully 2. legitimately.
fret = 1. to give oneself up to feelings of irritation, resentful discontent, regret, worry, or the like 2. to cause corrosion; gnaw.
delight = a high degree of please or enjoyment; joy; rapture (= ecstatic joy or delight; joyful ecstacy)
also = in addition; too; further
Rely on and be confident in the Lord AND do good. These are hard things to remember to do all the time, but if we remember to then we truly shall be fed. I am trying to fret not as the world changes around me. I DO NOT want my life to be full of corrosion. It is easy to know God will provide for us, but it is another to depend confidently and trust that he will do so faithfully and legitimately! And then we have delight yourself ALSO in the Lord. Why ALSO and what exactly does it mean to delight yourself? We cannot just rely on God, WE MUST FIND PLEASURE IN DOING SO! I’ll be honest, I am not there yet. Oh I put my trust in God alright and depend on Him. However, I’m certainly not confident about it because I’m pretty sure it won’t turn out how I would like. I am most certainly not in ecstasy over what God is doing in my life. I have a lot to work on if I want not just to be fed, but achieve the desires and secret petitions of my heart…
I am going to make the effort to remember to “Be Still” and rest this Holy Week. Often we cause our own stresses, but the next 10 days I want to forget everything else and REMEMBER who God is and what he did for ME (and YOU!) through his son. I leave you with Zechariah 2:13 “Be still, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused and risen from His holy habitation.”