Rest in A World of Unrest

The world is crazy. Do I need to say more? Whether its Afghanistan, COVID-19, Hurricane Ida, and all of the big and small things in between. The world is crazy. Watching the news makes me angry. There is plenty to disagree with. Plenty to get up in arms about. Plenty to fight about. Plenty to be upset about. Plenty to pit me against my brothers and sisters here on earth. It makes me anxious. It makes me afraid. It makes me angry. Because I cannot control what goes on in Afghanistan, I cannot control COVID-19, I cannot control Hurricane Ida, and I cannot control any of the politicians, whether or not I agree with them. I can only control myself….

And I can pray. This weekend the Lord, placed this Psalm on my heart. He has me. In this world of crazy, my God has me. I can rest in Him. He calls each of us to Him. If we allow Him, He has us. We don’t need to worry about the world and the craziness around us. Lord, thank you! This is my prayer.

LORD, my heart is not proud;

nor are my eyes haughty.

I do not busy myself with great matters,

with things too sublime for me.

Rather, I have stilled my soul,

Like a weaned child to its mother,

weaned is my soul.

Israel, hope in the LORD,

now and forever.

Psalm 131


In you I find my peace. I rest in you. Help me to be still and focus on you not the chaos around me. The world is full of unrest, because we fail to trust in you. We fail to rest in you. I don’t have to solve the problems and I am proud and conceited to think I could. I just need to be still, rest and trust in you. I pray that others do too.

America, hope in the Lord!

My Prayer for 2021

Today I opened the bible to this psalm, a prayer from thousands of years ago that seems particularly relevant today:

Why, LORD, do you stand afar and pay no heed in times of trouble? Arrogant scoundrels pursue the poor; they trap them by their cunning schemes. The wicked even boast of their greed; these robbers curse and scorn the LORD. In their insolence the wicked boast: “God does not care; there is no God.” Yet their affairs always succeed; they ignore your judgment on high; they sneer at all who oppose them. They say in their hearts, “We will never fall; never will we see misfortune.” Their mouths are full of oaths, violence, and lies; discord and evil are under their tongues. they wait in ambush near towns; their eyes watch for the helpless to murder the innocent in secret. They lurk in ambush like lions in a thicket, hide there to trap the poor, snare them and close the net. The helpless are crushed, laid low; they fall into the power of the wicked, Who say in their hearts, “God has forgotten, shows no concern, never bothers to look.” Rise up, LORD! God, lift up your hand! Do not forget the poor! Why should the wicked scorn God, say in their hearts, “God does not care”? But you do see; you take note of misery and sorrow; you take the matter in hand. To you the helpless can entrust their cause; you are the defender of orphans. Break the arm of the wicked and depraved; make them account for their crimes; let none of them survive. The LORD is king forever; the nations have vanished from his land. You listen, LORD, to the needs of the poor; you strengthen their heart and incline your ear. You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed; no one on earth will cause terror again.

Psalm 10

I cannot help but see the parallels in today’s world. We trap the poor into dependence on government aid. Cunning schemes convince those who are down trodden that God is not their savior, but man or money or a political party is. The wicked boast of their greed and power, they put down and oppress those who believe in God. They attempt to undermine our trust in God. We see oaths, violence and lies in every direction. The helpless murder the innocent in secret, abortions killing more than twice as many per year as COVID. We need to call on God to Rise Up! He strengthens the hearts of those who incline their ear to Him. We need to allow Him to rise up in us.


I pray that I am not an arrogant scoundrel and that I don’t get trapped by their cunning schemes. Sometimes it can appear that they succeed, but I trust in your plan and your promises. I know that you care and that without you everything else fails and eventually falls. I worry that our country is about to see that too. I ask you to incline my ear to you, Lord. Strengthen my heart. Do not let me be fooled by oaths and violence and lies. You alone are my God. In you alone I place my trust. There is nothing on earth that can take the place of you. Help me to spread your word and love to others so that they can know the truth and avoid the traps and snares that surround us.

God’s Protection

There are fires in California, Oregon, Washington and Montana.  A large earthquake in Mexico.  Hurricane Harvey just pushed through and Hurricane Irma is closing in. (And those are just the current “natural” disasters not the ones we inflict on ourselves — roughly a million assaults, 15,000 homicides, 60,000 drug overdose deaths and 35,000 motor vehicle deaths each year.)

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shade of the Almighty, Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”  He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague, He will shelter you with his pinions, and under his wings you may take refuge; his faithfulness is a protecting shield.  You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day,  Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon.  Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come.  You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see.  Because you have the LORD for your refuge and have made the Most High your stronghold, No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent.  For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go.  With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.  You can tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.  Because he clings to me I will deliver him; because he knows my name I will set him on high.  He will call upon me and I will answer; I will be with him in distress; I will deliver him and give him honor.  With length of days I will satisfy him, and fill him with my saving power.

Psalm 91

The Psalm is titled Security under God’s Protection.

No matter what the disaster.  God is there.  No matter what the terror of the night.  God is our refuge.

Lord, protect all those who are facing disaster, destruction, pain and suffering.  I pray that they call out to you and rely on you for strength.  I pray that any harm they suffer brings them closer to you.  God, you are my refuge and my fortress.  I pray that I can live all of my days under your shelter.

Make my roots deep and strong!

I need structure.  I need rules.  I need God. This is what the Bible told me when I opened it today.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.  Rather, the law of the LORD is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never wither; whatever he does prospers.

But not so are the wicked, not so! They are like chaff driven by the wind.  Therefore the wicked will not arise at the judgment, nor will sinners in the assembly of the just. Because the LORD knows the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

Psalm 1:1-6

We all face wickedness, sometimes from within, sometimes it surrounds us.  It can be easy to be swayed by popular opinion, by what the world thinks is good, by whatever is “in” right now.  If we do not have a foundation, if we do not have God’s word, his law, it is much easier for us to get tossed about by whatever way the wind blows. But it we focus on God’s word, on his law, if we focus on God, we become planted in fertile soil, nourished by God’s flowing river, by His love.  Like a tree we may sway with the tumultuous winds around us, but we are firmly rooted in God.  We won’t get swept up in the wickedness around us.

God,  Your word is my joy!  I want my roots planted deep and strong! Help me to make the time to nourish and strengthen my roots in you.



The Lord is My Shepherd

It is fitting that tonight the Bible opened to this Psalm:

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.  In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul.

He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.

You set a table before me in front of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for endless days.

Psalm 23:1-6

I have always equated this psalm with death.  But as I read it now, I see that it is all about life! With the Lord as our shepherd, what can we need?  He provides us with everything.  Green pastures to lie down.  (Think about a beautiful green pasture.  I cannot help but smile when I think of a bright green pasture lit against a blue sky.  Peaceful.  God provides us with rest for our mind and body.  There is so much around us that is just beautiful and peaceful if we stop and look.)  Still waters — to restore us.  Water to drink.  Water to wash over us.  Water to restore us and give us new life.

He guides us along right paths. (Oh, how I wish I would stop trying to explore on my own!)

And then the death part — even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…  I will fear no evil for you are with me.  At our darkest times, God is with us.   David goes from talking about “the Lord” to talking very familiarly about “you” because in our darkest times, God is right there.  He is not a far off being, referred to in the third person.  He is right there, as a friend, as a confidant, as a protector.  “I will fear no evil for you are with me.”  He is there as a father: “your rod and your staff comfort me.”

This is not about death — this is about life.  Life here on earth where God walks with us, provides for us and pursues us with His goodness and mercy.  Our cup overflows with God’s love.  And life with God for endless days.  God sets His table before us — He invites us to join Him.  He pursues us with His goodness and mercy.   He pursues us.  Imagine the power if we pursue Him.

Oh Lord,

I ask you to be with those who are walking through the shadow of death.  Lift them up.  Show them your goodness and mercy.

Thank you for pursuing me and never giving up.  I pledge to pursue you.

A day for rejoicing!

Today is a day for rejoicing!  Why?  Because a friend received good news from the doctor!  Because I found something I had lost!  Because God is here!

Is there ever a day that is not worthy of rejoicing — even on our darkest days there is reason to rejoice — to find joy in God!

I think the psalms always provide good words for rejoicing — today, the Bible opened to Psalm 40:

Surely, I wait for the LORD; who bends down to me and hears my cry,  Draws me up from the pit of destruction, out of the muddy clay,  Sets my feet upon rock, steadies my steps, And puts a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God.

Many shall look on in fear and they shall trust in the LORD. Blessed the man who sets his security in the LORD, who turns not to the arrogant or to those who stray after falsehood.

You, yes you, O LORD, my God, have done many wondrous deeds!  And in your plans for us there is none to equal you.  Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are they to recount.  Sacrifice and offering you do not want; you opened my ears.  Holocaust and sin-offering you do not request; so I said, “See; I come with an inscribed scroll written upon me.  I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being!”

When I sing of your righteousness in a great assembly, See, I do not restrain my lips; as you, LORD, know.  I do not conceal your righteousness within my heart; I speak of your loyalty and your salvation. I do not hide your mercy or faithfulness from a great assembly.

LORD, may you not withhold your compassion from me; May your mercy and your faithfulness continually protect me.

Psalm 40:2-12

My God you have done wondrous things!  And in your plans for us there is none equal to you!  I wish everyone could know and see the comfort you offer, the plans you have, the goodness that comes from knowing you.  The joy that only you can provide.

Unfortunately, today, I also learned of a man who jumped to his death, apparently a suicide, off a downtown building.  It aches my heart to know that you were so close and he could not see.  Help those who are hurting to find security in you.  Help me to help those who are hurting to find security in you.

Thank you God for drawing me from the pit of destruction.  Thank you for setting me on your firm rock.  Help me to share your comfort with others, to rejoice in your goodness.  Grant me your compassion and grant me compassion for others.  Protect me O Lord.  Help me to always know, even on my darkest day, that my security is in you.

Break into song! Happy Easter!

Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done marvelous deeds.

His right hand and holy arm have won the victory.

The LORD has made his victory known; has revealed his triumph in the sight of the nations,

He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.


Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth; break into song; sing praise.

Sing praise to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and melodious song.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy to the King, the LORD.


Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell there.

Let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy,

Before the LORD who comes, who comes to govern the earth,

To govern the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Psalm 98