If you live anywhere in the South you had to endure storms at some time during the past couple of days. Here in Mississippi, our day was yesterday, as was Louisiana and Arkansas. Alabama got the overnight shift. I’m sorry to my friends in Alabama as much as I hate storms, nighttime storms are the worst, because it’s harder to see what’s coming. New Orleans was also hit after dark last night, and Texas the day before. So this morning as I sit and have my time with Jesus this morning, I am grateful for the peace and calm after the storm. And I am praying for those who had structures damaged and have clean up to do. But I am grateful I haven’t heard about loss of life from this one.
My thoughts this morning, while I am grateful for the peace and calm, are also on people I know who are in the midst of big decisions and not quite sure which road to take and what will open up for them. Also of some people who are hurting because their whole world is rocked because the way they thought life would go for them is not going quite the way they had planned. I have friends who have lost spouses this year, friends who have lost children. I have friends whose work lives have been turned upside down, friends who are battling cancer, and well we have all dealt with the way things are different because of covid, etc. etc. I don’t think of myself as someone who is particularly rigid and has to have a plan all the time, but I do like regular routines and for things to stay “between the ditches” so to speak. I am not a huge fan of change, especially changes that are unknown or upsetting.
At times like these when my thoughts get so jumbled, I can have a tendency to start worrying and getting anxious over things and people and places and I have to remind myself to bring it all back to the cross and lay it down before Him and that I don’t have to know the way, I just have to know the Waymaker. There is a song that I sang a verse of in a choir concert years ago in my church and at times when my heart starts going off the rails, I will sing this verse over and over in my head.
Be Still My Soul,
God knows your way,
And He will guide,
For His name’s sake,
Plunge in the rivers of His grace,
Rest in the arms of His embrace!
I love that verse of that and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to sing it all those years ago, as it has burned in my mind and my heart and I have been able to recall it so many times. When my heart is troubled, Be Still My Soul. When I am not sure of my next steps, I can always remember that God knows the way and that if I keep putting my trust in Him and I give Him the glory and the praise especially, that He will guide me for His name’s sake. And most of all that I can plunge into His grace, I can live from His grace, I can receive grace and I can give grace and when I live from that grace, it is resting in His embrace.
One of my favorite verses is found in Matthew 11:28. And while I like to use the ESV, NIV or NKJV when I study, I often read in the Message or the Passion Translation just to get a basic feel for the verse. Some of those read so beautiful as does this verse in The Message.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
So this morning, or today, or whenever you read this, what is consuming your thoughts and worries today? You may be having to clean up after the storm. You may be trying to plan out a future, you may be battling an illness or trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other after a loss. If you are take a few minutes and still your soul and spend some time with your Savior who will guide you for His name’s sake. When you keep company with Him, you will learn how to live freely and lightly!