If you’re a parent, then this may sound familiar “You have all of these toys, why don’t you want to play with them?” Somehow we get thrown off when our busy toddlers want to climb up a table or run across the couch rather than play with their toys. Or for me lately, it’s when I may be trying to cook and both children would rather cram on top of the same stool to help me stir the food over playing together. I realize this is a season, and one day something else may capture their attention more than what I’m cooking for dinner so because of that I believe I need to soak up these moments: the moments where my presence is greater than any “present”.
I knew I would learn much more from my kids than expected. Sometimes so simple yet profound as I look down at 2 sets of beautiful eyes, one tiny tot tugging at my leg while the other asks me for the 3rd time to come check out her really cool princess party she has set up. The real need here isn’t for more of something else to fill the void, or another suggestion of what to play with or color, it’s for me. The need is for affirmation. The need is for my presence.
This same need parallels with our Heavenly Father. We may try to throw things at Him through out the day, a quick thought, request, prayer ... maybe we even present Him with a list of things we feel like we’ve done all in His honor, yet missing one of the most priceless forms of honor, our time.
There’s moments we try to prove with our busyness that we are accomplishing something for Him. But I think what He is really asking for is our presence. When we spend time with our Savior, we change. Maybe growing up you heard the saying “show me your friends, I’ll show you your future” or “you are who you hang out with”. If there’s any truth to these statements, I can’t think of a better person I’d want to be present with than God, someone who is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,” (Exodus 34:6). I don’t know about you but during this pandemic and while being cooped in the house, I could use some extra compassion, patience, and kindness to extend to my family during this, sometimes trying, season of life. Sitting at the feet of the One who gives peace that exceeds anything we can understand, a peace that guards our hearts and minds vs sitting at the mercy of the news or my social media feed is going to benefit me much more.
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NLT
There’s a key part or that verse, “as you live in Christ Jesus.” When we live in Him, learning our Savior more, we gain attributes that the world can’t give us. Supernatural peace (John 14:7) and wisdom (James 1:5) are a few attributes that we could all use while navigating through the current worldwide crisis we are facing.
Life may be tugging at you in a thousand different directions right now. During a season of quarantining and being socially distanced from friends, family, extra curricular activities, church etc. expectations are all over the place and plans have changed. Your load may be heavier than normal.
Today consider basking in His presence, leaving behind the assumption that you must have a completed checklist or an entertainment schedule for the day to be acceptable. Instead of asking, “what can I get done”, contemplate asking “what can wait?”. The gains we will receive from His presence will exceed any Earthly “present”.
Drew & Valerie Blackston with Special Guests Sonny & Cindy Zentmeyer
In this video podcast, Anchor Movement welcomes special guests Sonny & Cindy Zentmeyer with 2b1life.com to share tips on how marriages and families can become stronger in these uncertain times. During this global crisis, families and relationships can experience added stresses that come with excessive amounts of quality time, being creative with our children, and the challenges that come from economic upheaval. We can choose to turn these situations into faith building moments that make the family unit stronger instead of allowing fear and lack of control to destroy the blessing that GOD has designed family to be. Join us to learn tips that will benefit your marriage and family during this COIVD-19 pandemic and in the years to come. Below is a resource developed by Sonny and Cindy to help your family have a "Strategic Plan to Move Through Trials and Come Out Stronger on the Other Side."
Generations become defined by the events that happen within their years. World War 2 defined the 1940’s and gave us the greatest generation. Vietnam and the Beatles defined the 1960’s and 70’s and gave the world the baby boomer generation. In the 2000’s, events like 9/11 and the financial crisis defined how millennials invest and interact with the world. Every generation has its defining moment and I believe that right now we are in another defining moment that doesn’t just touch a single generation, but touches every generation separately and uniquely. Whether you are a parent wanting to provide for your children or an older American trying to protect your health, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work, and play. As Christians, moments like this should bring excitement, not in the pain and suffering of others, but in the fact that we have the Light this dark world needs. In Acts 2, the ancient world was experiencing a defining moment as well: Jesus had been crucified by the Romans and then resurrected from the dead and a new religious movement called, “The Way” was experiencing exponential growth. A man by the name of Saul, who was a leader in the ruling religious party was threatening, arresting, beating, and even killing converts of this new movement. All eyes in Israel were on Rome, the Jewish leadership, and this new movement that was upending the current religious structure. How did those early Christians respond to their moment in time? What was their perspective in the face of fear and death? Their response gives us a great example as a generation and people who are living in their own defining moment.
1. We must step forward
“Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd…” Acts 2:14 NLT
Stepping forward in faith doesn’t mean we are careless with our actions and run out into the middle of the panic, but it means when GOD gives you an opportunity to share your faith, you seize that moment. Maybe it’s sharing scriptures of peace on your social media feed or offering to pray with a neighbor or friend who is really scared. GOD will give us all unique opportunities to step forward within our circle of family and friends in the community where we live and it’s in these moments where His light gets to shine through our actions.
2. Be prepared to share your faith
Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Acts 2:37-39 NLT
The one good thing that comes from any crisis is that people look for something stable in the midst of chaos. Oftentimes, the church is the place where most people run. Even with the doors of our physical churches being closed, we have an opportunity as believers to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with family, friends, and even strangers at the grocery store. Hope is what this world is looking for and that hope is found in Jesus Christ.
3. Be open to generosity
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
How much toilet paper do you have? Did you notice the empty produce shelves at your local grocery store? This is not a time to hoard up groceries and paper products…no this is our moment to be a blessing to our neighbors and those closest to us. How can we do this when social distancing is the rule? Don’t take more than you need at the grocery store. If you have more than enough, post on Facebook and ask if anyone needs more. We can still share even among a world that is hoarding in panic. In Philippians 4:19, Paul assures us that, “GOD who takes care of me [Paul] will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Generations are defined by the moments that intersect the years they find themselves on Earth. Who would have thought during our lifetime we would have seen a pandemic? I believe that you were born to be here for this very moment in time. Living on the inside of you is the Light that shines brighter than any darkness. We have the peace that passes all understanding because the Prince of Peace lives in our hearts. I am reminded of the lyrics from one of my favorite Sunday school songs, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” Jesus is the light this dark and panicked world needs. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. THIS IS OUR MOMENT.