Posted by: glorifyhim1 | May 1, 2011

If I Were A Christian …

This week a cloud of sadness descended over the nation as deadly tornados and powerful storms ripped across the South, leaving in their wake a mind-numbing trail of destruction and death. It was reported to be the deadliest tornado outbreak in close to four decades with at least 281 people losing their lives.

As I went about my daily routines, it was hard not to think about all those families affected. As I did my laundry, vacuumed my floors, and shopped for groceries, I thought about families who had lost everything they owned and whose homes were nothing more than stacks of boards and debris. As I placed photos in an album, I thought of individuals who had lost precious photos and keepsakes in just a matter of minutes. Even when I sat down to eat dinner with my family, I thought about what an incredible blessing it is to just share a meal and look into the faces of those I love.

I have so much for which to be thankful – so many blessings which I too often take for granted. I wonder when was the last time I thanked God for a roof over my head, shoes on my feet, and a jar of peanut butter in my kitchen cabinet. I get used to them being there and I sometimes forget that some people do not have a place to sleep at night and that others go to bed hungry. There are people who do not have shoes for their feet or coats to keep them warm. And this week I was reminded that even if we have those things today, we have no guarantee that they will be there tomorrow. Life is uncertain and we do not know what the future holds. 

So what do we do? How do we prepare for an uncertain future? How do we respond when our trials and troubles come?  

I thought about all of this over the weekend as I helped my daughter clean out some boxes she had in storage. In one of the boxes we stumbled on several small notebooks where she had made journal entries when she was in the 2nd grade. Apparently, kids were required to write to a prompt the teacher gave them each morning when they arrived. Needless to say, we spent the next hour or so reading and either laughing or crying until it hurt. But there was one entry that I couldn’t get out of my mind. It went something like this:

“If I were a scientist, I would learn about the world.

I would study about the world.

I would discover about the world.

I would know about the world.

I would tell others about the world.

Others would know all about the world.”

Although we laughed together over the entry, I couldn’t help but think if I supplied this same line of reasoning to being a Christian.

“If I were a Christian, I would learn about the Lord.

I would study about the Lord.

I would discover things about the Lord.

I would come to know the Lord.

I would tell others about the Lord.

Others would come to know the Lord.”

That’s it! I thought. That is how we prepare when we do not know what the future holds and that is how we respond when we are in the midst of unimaginable troubles. We keep our minds and our hearts set upon the Lord and therein we find peace. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Our peace is found in Christ. We cannot understand or explain the events that happened in Alabamaand other southern states this past week, but God’s Word assures us that He will give us peace in the midst of our circumstances. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). Before Christ was crucified, He talked to His disciples preparing them for the troubles they would face in the future. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Paul echoed this message of peace to the Ephesians: “For He Himself (Christ) is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14a).

So, if I am a Christian, I can know that regardless of the troubles I face on earth, my eternal future is secure in Christ. And as I lose myself in Him, studying, learning, and discovering more about Him, I come to know Him better. And if I am a Christian, shouldn’t I want to tell others about the Lord so that they, too, can know Him and the peace He brings? Shouldn’t I want to be Christ’s hands and feet ministering to those who are in the throes of turmoil and trouble? Shouldn’t I want to shine the light of Christ into dark corners all around the world so others would come to know the Lord? If I were a Christian ….  

Dear Heavenly Father,

When my way is uncertain

And my direction not clear,

When I struggle with decision

And the unknown I fear,

Help me to remember

That You’re in control,

I can trust in You,

You’ll never let go,

You still calm storms

And make winds cease,

You quiet my thoughts,

Enfold me in peace,

You’ll bring to fruition

All You have planned,

I can rest in Your presence

And by faith I can stand.

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