Love and the Word leave a trail just like the flower petals of this crepe myrtle tree fall to earth. Hear what God says about how His word operates in the world:
“my word goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” [Isaiah 55:11]
God accomplishes what He desires and it is done. We can totally count on that. At the same time, It’s pretty obvious to me that God doesn’t think like we do or act in the world like we would expect Him to act. And still He accomplishes whatever He sets out to do.
Take, for instance, this corona virus Covid-19. I am sure that a lot of people, like me, are praying that it end and disappear from our lives, soon. And yet, it seems to be having a second wave of infections even in places where they handled it well at first. Before it arrived late last year, I was feeling like our country was on a precipice and that we could easily fall off and destroy our democracy. And yet now I feel hopeful, because of the problems here that the virus has highlighted: lack of healthcare for the poor, rural, Black, Latino and indigenous populations, the struggles of these same peoples to hold onto their jobs and make a decent living while the rich thrive and grow richer. When George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day threw a spotlight on police brutality on a video for all to see, the issues of justice and mercy were suddenly on the front page and many people in our country were seeing with new eyes.
Did God send us the coronavirus? I don’t know. Is God using it to highlight problems around the world? I think so. Viruses are part of our life here, along with colds and other more dangerous illnesses. They are all part of the system here on Earth. They have a purpose, I am sure, even if I couldn’t guess what that purpose is. But I think that God uses everything in this world to accomplish His goals for us. Just like He uses whatever challenges us or causes us pain to create openings in us and dependency upon Him to bring us to the fullness of who we were created to be. If we are willing to go along with Him, to repent, then we begin open our eyes and ears to see and hear all that He wants us to know. And as we respond to the truth that He is showing us, He is healing us of all that comes between us and Him. So that, while we still live in the world, we are no longer beholden to it. And so that God alone is the focus of our lives.
His Word and His love will accomplish His goals. Once they take root in us, then we are on a whole new journey away from the influence of the world. And then God’s Word and love are sent into the world through us, ready to accomplish what God’s will is.
An invitation to contribute to my book on the Beatitudes: If you would be willing to share some of the obstacles you have encountered in your life that come between you and God, I would love to hear them. I’ll be writing about the ladder of the Beatitudes, rung by rung and will identify some of the challenges we face at each step up: particularly, anything that you’ve been taught to be true, but later find out doesn’t work for you, or something in your self-image that keeps you where you are instead of responding to what God may ask of you, cultural norms that get in your way—anything like that. I would only use your initials if I quote you. These examples from my readers really enriched my book on Exodus, particularly your wilderness experiences. I am so grateful for any experiences you might contribute. You may message them to me on FB or send them to my email, email@example.com.
Questions to ponder over the week: How do I see God accomplishing His will in this world? Does He do what I want Him to do? What do I make of the differences? Do I complain or do I surrender to what comes into my life? Am I at peace with who God is and what He does in this world?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who surrender to, adapt to, even welcome what comes into our lives. May we live at peace with what is. May we embrace the changes and go with them.
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Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com, for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life. New posts 2x a month. 7.13.20s is entitled, “Weathering the Storm.”