Turning to God in the face of Unknowns

The heaviness of unknowns lurk into the next season and it’s weighty. Many of us feel the same weight. As Covid-19 progresses, or stays the same, the unknowns in how to walk it out remains. Some of us are sending our kids to school in fear. Some of us have big life changes looming with fear. All are valid fears. But then I heard of a life near to us that was on the line. The weight of surviving life or death became much more desperate in terms of unknowns. For me, it brought into perspective of how little we know about the trajectory of our lives.

This is what we train for: to have faith despite the unknowns we face on earth. Since earth is temporary to our eternal home in heaven. So, instead of stressing over the unknowns we must think about what we do know. Christ in us for us.

Unbelief into Belief

In Mark chapter nine, a father brings his demon possessed son to Jesus. Asking him, “if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “if you can?! All things are possible for one who believes.” Then the boy’s father confesses to Jesus that he has some faith but acknowledges that he is spiritually weak. Then he appealed to Jesus to create in him a heart that believes more firmly. He said,Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” And Jesus healed his son who had an unclean spirit (Mark 9:14-29).

Pursuing life faithfully is a mental battle we must prepare for everyday. Scripture is not just a book with cool stories, its a life line of hope. We learn from the boy’s father who knew Jesus was the Messiah but not sure if he could heal his boy. It’s the half truth we have of Jesus. Yes, I know you’re good God – but I don’t trust you. Without scripture we become lost in our knowledge and understanding of God. Thus, the only way to overcome our anxiety is through fellowship with God by prayer and reading His Word.

Fear into Faith

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6

Every morning I wake up and grab my journal and my Bible. I start my day writing out my prayers, making my requests known to God. I end my prayer with thanksgiving, because I acknowledge and remind myself who it is I am praying to. The Almighty God who was, is, and is to come. The same God who spoke directly to Moses guiding the Israelite’s to the promised land (despite their constant sin and setbacks). The same God who sent Jesus to die for me and bore my sins. I am praying to the God who formed me in my mothers womb. Who knows me better than I know myself. I pray because it turns my fear of unknowns into faith of being known by God.

Unknowns into Known

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7

A big part of releasing my anxious thoughts and feelings is through prayer. The peace that comes upon me after I pray is a reassurance that God is with me. He guards my heart and mind like a solider guarding his own territory. As Christians, we can entrust all our unknowns and difficulties to the Lord, who rules over all creation and who is wise and loving in all His ways (Romans 8:31-39). Therefore, having an attitude of prayer and thanksgiving contributes directly to inward peace.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Suffering into Strength

There is no doubt that we will suffer and struggle in our faith because we are up against an enemy that is unseen, but seeks to devour our joy in Christ. Causing a heightened anxiety in us because we are fighting between two voices. A voice elevating our pride to worry and another voice humbling us to submit and pray. We must learn how God speaks to discern what is true.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:6-11

In midst of your unknowns on earth,
recite and believe what you know in Christ!

How to Stay Present in Peace

I like to call this time of isolation: a forced time of introspection. Whether you like it or not staying present is mandatory. When we are busy we like to say, “we have no time” and when we have loads of time we like to say, “we wish we were busy”. The point is we aren’t good at staying present because we don’t have any peace. So let’s learn how to stay present by receiving God’s peace.

Oh boy, what is peace? How do we get peace? I want peace! Simply put peace is a blessing from God, and it’s in His nature to give us peace. Its readily available to all who call upon Him.

Okay, so how does this work? Well first lets accept introspection – “the examination of our own mental and emotional state” and name the burden that is preventing peace.

Second, let’s look at these three verses that teach us how to have peace:

1. Name your burden and give it to Jesus


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30
The illustration of a “yoke” refers to: “a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.”

Our “yoke” can feel like a heavy plow or cart weighing us down and instead of moving it forward we stay stuck.

I have misread this verse for a long time

I used to think Jesus meant He will take off our heavy load so we don’t carry anything. Assuming that whatever was causing me burdens would leave entirely. But it says, “take my yoke upon you” – so we still have a load to carry. This is more encouraging because its realistic. We all have responsibility in our day which simply cannot just stop – we all have loads to carry. However it doesn’t need to be a burden, God says, “come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. How? “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… for I am gentle and humble in heart”. We are to come to Christ in confidence that He will help us because he is “gentle and humble in heart”. God is approachable!

How to stay present in peace… we learn from Christ

“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). Walk in the way in which Jesus walked which is doing what pleases the Lord. The peace is in the knowing my Father God. He has the best for me so it’s in Him where I will find it. So I gladly take upon His yoke which is easy and light because He is good and wants good for me. Spending time reading my Bible gives me peace because it’s a daily reminder of how much He loves me.

Practically speaking

For me staying present in peace looks like focusing on the blessing rather than the burden. For example, my husband working shift work. Everyday I only get half days with him and sometimes when the weekend comes this is a burden because I want a full family day not just half. However, the blessing is he has a great job and provides well for our family. So I focus on the gifts God gave me rather than what I do not have. This takes discipline to practice daily.

2. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you


Come near to God and he will come near to you.

James 4:8

Avoiding our burdens by distracting ourselves with anything other than God will not bring us closer to peace. Spending time in prayer helps to refocus our hearts and mind back onto His. So, if in doubt pray it out… (oooo did I just make a snappy saying?!?).

3. Do not worry about tomorrow


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

Until we are with Jesus Himself, in heaven, we will always be working towards something here on earth. I know I can get bogged down with a mentality of a “finish line” assuming success is something concrete. But success is making the most of TODAY – a constant state of progress. Humbling ourselves before the Lord so we can have His joy and His peace to guide our thoughts and actions of today. Its all about taking action in the right direction and maximizing the time we have, now! Jesus said it himself, do not worry about tomorrow. So we learn from His words and do as it says because its meant for our own good.

Jesus, I pray that you would change our perspective. Help us to look to you so we can receive your atmosphere of peace as we learn to stay present.

Lifted Hands

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”

Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

Exodus 17:8-16

Being used by God

So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.

Exodus 17:9

Verse, Exodus 17:9, I was interested in the significance of God using Moses’ staff. Why is Moses’ staff “a thing” God uses? First we understand that Moses was a shepherd, his staff was part of his everyday – the tool of his trade.

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff”, he replied.

Exodus 4:1-2

Whenever God is asking someone a question in the Bible we have to stop and think, why? God knows everything – what was, what is and what is to come… so why does He ask questions?

Two points come to mind when I think of God asking questions:
1. Relationship – God wants dialogue because He is a relational God
2. To highlight a point – there is something deeper He wants us to learn

Throughout Exodus 4:3-9, God performs miraculous signs with Moses’ staff to demonstrate His power. God used what Moses already had, which changed purpose but kept the same function. God called Moses from shepherding sheep to shepherding people.

What we learn from Moses is that God can use you in your current state. You don’t have to wait for anything additional to contribute to the kingdom of God. God wants to use whats already in your hands.

But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.

Exodus 4:10-12

Despite your doubt – God is with you.

God is not asking for your perfection, He is asking for your partnership.

What is in your hands?

Worshipping in times of battle

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Exodus 17:10-12

Lifted hands (“hands”) is mentioned quite a bit in this passage. It got me thinking, when do I lift my hands? When I think of lifting my hands toward God I think of, “praise hands”. I think of church; being in an atmosphere of peppy tunes, dimmed lights and led by talented singers on stage. I think about dancing around in my kitchen, with my daughter, listening to worship music. But here in this passage, I am reminded that sometimes we base our worship upon our feelings rather than on our faith. The best time to worship is always; and especially when we don’t feel like it.

Posturing our body (in whatever way that looks for you – lifted hands or closed eyes, for example) helps bring our minds into worship.

Supporting each other towards God

When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exodus 17:12-13

Aaron and Hur came to Moses’ rescue – they didn’t say, “well you tried… too bad you got tired, next time bud!” No, they believed in God’s authority through Moses and did everything they could to keep Moses’ hands lifted. They supported Moses when he grew too tired to do it himself.

As a nation we too are in a battle – against Covid-19. We don’t know how long this virus will last or what the outcome will be. It is crucial that in this time of stress and sickness we become like Aaron and Hur who lift up their friend in need (figuratively speaking of course as we can’t literally hangout with our friends. But praise God for great technologies to still connect us!). We need to surround ourselves with friends that lift us up to God and be friends that lift others up as well.

Concluding Points

1. Moses was an everyday ordinary man and through God he became extraordinary – how can God do that through you? What is already in your hands?
2. Posture your body to set your mind on worship – the best times to worship is at all times

Hebrews 13:15, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”
3. Pray and ask God to highlight someone in your life that needs to be lifted up

Eternal Hope

Three weeks since I have written, read my Bible and sat to spend time with the Lord. In the past three weeks I have experienced sickness, anxiety, prolonged eye twitches, a fun-filled-family vacation, SKIING for the first time and even more sickness.

Covid-19 has hit the world hard and its become a pandemic. Schools, businesses all shutting down to stop the disease from spreading. It has become crazy like a scene from a movie. Our government said to socially isolate. Stay home and to avoid public places and social gatherings.  We respect authorities and obey regulations as it is for our own benefit and the greater good for the world’s health (feels surreal to write that).

As a mom of a toddler, isolation was something I already was struggling with prior to the virus. I worked so hard to plan my weeks around mom groups, drop-in play times, bible studies and exercising at the gym. I was getting in a groove, finding my strength and “mom power” in my schedule. However, now in a immediate HAULT to all the scheduling and activities, we are stuck inside.

As I mentioned before it has been three weeks of not reading my Bible and as this quarantine is in play I have come to notice its effect. I have come to see how my scheduling in daily activities has become a greater hope in my life than the one of I have in Jesus. I am reminded (again) that spending time with Jesus is not a checklist for habit tracking, not just Sunday service, its a lifestyle. It’s an ongoing relationship with God, one that must be prioritized in our hearts above anything else.

So in this time of mandatory world isolation, as a Christian, how do I find contentment?

My contentment is no longer in my perfect scheduling, in my feeling of being a”fit mom”, “a productive mom”, or “a socially active mom”.  Instead, it’s in my pursuit of being a Godly mom. A mom that does not quit because her circumstances have changed or her fears of isolation has returned. Even if you are not a mom, your schedule has changed by working from home or by putting your plans on hold. As a believer in Christ I, once again, re-focus my hope back on Him – focusing less on my plans and more on His, because His plans are eternal.

I pray everyday for this virus to dissipate, dissolve, and stop completely – because I believe in a miraculous and good God. I pray for faith to lead and not fear. I pray that we draw near to God so He can draw near to us. I pray over those that are sick to be healed and to be restored back to full health.

In my negligence of prioritizing my relationship with God, I’ve become more comfortable with the world’s bond.  If this virus taught me anything, it’s this: I cannot rely on the world – it will always fail me. But what I know that will never fail me is my hope in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 6:6-12 (NIV)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.