But I am older now
And there has been beauty
That these eyes have seen
Through the storms of my life
Oh, that's where God proved
His love to me
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
There are days I still wake up thinking I am in an episode of The Twilight Zone. This cannot possibly be real... but it is. Never in my wildest imagination could I imagine the world changing as it has the last few years, much less the last few months.
I remind myself each day that God has us here, at this time, for a specific purpose that we can individually and collectively carry out. I am well known for not liking surprises and current events contain one surprise after another.
As one who has studied Bible prophecy for a long time, I knew as we came closer to certain events that would happen, the prophetic lens would become clearer. We do "see through a glass darkly"... until we don't. The clouds part, the sun shines on various world events, and our understanding becomes a little clearer.
Of course, we will never see what is going on in the world through perfect spiritual lens but when we have accepted Jesus offer of salvation and asked Him to lead us through this fallen world, we have a Friend who knows everything about... everything.
I am finding it helps to have a balance between planning ahead and living in the moment. I am always thinking of what may be needed down the road and to plan for it/them in the budget. Planning gives me a feeling of being in control. At least a little.
I have some of the non-perishable food we will need for Thanksgiving and Christmas put back already. A couple Christmas gifts have been purchased and now that we are going into August, I will be on the lookout for good end-of-the summer deals. Some of the favorite gifts I have given at Christmas to others were purchased in the summer on sale.
When it comes to food and non-food items that will be needed, buying ahead will save money in a time of escalating prices as well as shortages. We have been keeping up with medical and dental appointments as it is becoming more difficult to get an appointment "out of cycle". Those subjects are better thought through and planned as much as possible and with a lot of prayer.
There are a lot of things these days that I don't spend time worrying about and other than praying, there isn't much I can do, anyway. A lot is going to happen that God has put in place and while it looks like the good guys are losing... we must remember that the real battles are going on behind the scenes.
While in theory it would quite amazing to have God pull back the celestial curtain to see the Chariots of Fire and the multitude thousands of angels at work on His behalf, I don't think this side of Eternity my mind... much less my heart!... could handle it.
I have to trust Him with the Big Stuff. As I see more wars, rumors of wars, crazy high inflation, famine and food shortages, and all the other worrisome stuff going on in the world... I can only do what I can only do. What has He created me to do... us to do?
We are to pray generally but also specifically. For people groups and for neighbors, for politicians (do they ever need it) and for Christians on the front lines of the social wars. We need to pray for Supreme Court Justices to be safe, even those who vote contrary to our liking. We need to pray globally and locally. Whomever God places on our heart.
When God asks us to do something, we need to do it without complaining. Which is not always easy. We need to be our brother's and sister's keeper. There are a lot of hurting people who may have never found themselves in this position before and have no idea how to ask for help.
I have thanked God a lot these days for the lean years we went through personally. They gave me a lot of skills for walking through these challenging times. As in... how to get four meals from one whole chicken and where to shop for good quality clothes cheap (spoiler alert: thrift stores!).
I can't say it is always easy not to fear the Big Stuff but what helps me a lot is to not keep my thoughts focused on them. I quickly scan the news headlines and if necessary, click on a link for more information. I have favorite YouTube vloggers that I know are good at providing information without leading you down rabbit holes of speculation which brings fear.
I am investing my time into keeping my home clean and tidy, although if you saw the porch and my study right now... you would laugh at such a thought. Sometimes dirt and clutter seem to reproduce themselves without seeing them do so. Much like Tribbles on the original Star Trek series (my favorite episode).
I am convinced it is a lie that the enemy and his minions whisper in our ears that if we are not watching the news all of the time, then we do not care about the world situation. That is absolutely not true. God didn't intend that humans... who He tells us are made "of dust"... could handle evil news images coming to our mind for hours at a time.
However, the enemy of our souls knows that to do so is a good way to break the spirit of his enemy... Christians who care deeply about others. I am finding more and more that just knowing the headlines is more than enough to keep up with world events. After all, sitting in a chair contemplating the world falling apart is not going to change the world but it can hurt us in many ways. I no longer allow my mind to linger on such world shattering events.
I continue to do what I have been writing about on previous Sundays. I look for Beauty and plan for it when possible. Like the flowers sitting on a table and on the ledge of the deck outside of my kitchen window. They make my heart sing, even if they do require just a little extra work to keep them alive and looking good in this very hot summer.
I am plant sitting for a neighbor on vacation and her outdoor plants are making me smile as they sit next to my porch flowers. A couple porch flowers have wilted, partly due to heat but also because they were spring flowers. So last week, I found a lovely Fall hanging flower arrangement for a very inexpensive price. It has replaced one of the flowers that met its' demise.
Just small investments here and there to fill the heart with Beauty and Joy. I know this is different with everyone. I have friends who get overjoyed at the sight of their productive garden. I have a grandson who finds joy in fishing. God has created each of us individually and when we choose to look toward joy... we are looking at His gifts. It is okay to long for Beauty for that is the way He created us.
I picked the artwork above as it reminded me of how I feel many days. Like a ship on a stormy sea! But as the song says, my Anchor is holding. My anchor will always hold me securely. I continue to do what He teaches me in how to prevail in these troubled waters but the best advice is to hold on to Jesus as tight as possible.
I am so glad that all those decades ago, I accepted His offer of salvation. Even in the rough years, He never left me forsaken. He is the only Anchor in these times and without God's leading, the storms will continue to overwhelm.
He is your anchor in the hurricane force winds of adversity and you do not have to worry if He is holding you close. He will provide. He will comfort. He will help you finish strong.
Image: Artist name was not provided but it is the Pirate Ship Vallarta
Lyrics: The Anchor Holds by Lawrence Chewning, made popular by Ray Boltz