“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;”
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
Years ago I wrote about a bakery in Portland, one of many businesses in the strip mall. There were always birds hanging around the two outside tables, hoping to grab a crumb on the sidewalk.
The bakery was between a clothing store and a cell phone retail store. There were no birds investigating either of those businesses. They knew where to find nourishment.
Where, may I inquire, do you hang around for your soul’s nourishment.
That’s a question important for you to answer. If you answer wrong it will not go well for you.
We need to know what’s going on in our world. There is a culture war taking place (really a spiritual war for the souls of every living human being.) So we watch the news, exchange information with friends, listen to talk radio. Our news comes from many sources.
How spiritually nourishing is it? Does it increase your sense of well-being and calm? Or is it agitating enough for you to have been known to lose sleep after some particularly troubling news? Is it leaving you empty? Frenzied? Hopeless?
Here’s a hint that has been helping me recently. Ask where the arrival of disturbing news takes you. To pills for relaxation? Make you want to bury your head under the covers hoping things are better when you reawaken?
If so, you are not ready for that kind of news. A Christian handling bad news needs to be prepared spiritually for it.
Here’s why. God knows what we’re going through. He sees the destruction of many of our cities. He sees how hard it is for any of us to communicate effectively, choosing instead to shout louder and listen less. He knows just what we need to hear and know to calm our souls and keep our confidence up and our heads above water.
It’s his Word! And when I’ve given Him opportunity to talk to me first, I am then ready to hear what others say. Why? Because He’s already reminded me of victory. He’s told me not to worry… that He has it under his control.
Without my Savior’s words and his peace, most of what I see and hear terrifies or confuses.
The old song got it right: Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace. Sing it and believe it.
And don’t look for something to eat at the cell phone store!