It’s early. Like before the rooster crows early. I did’t plan it nor set an alarm because it’s Saturday, and this is the day I like to sleep a bit later. It seems the men around here have other plans. Before the clock numbers read 5:00 am one arrives home from late night hunting for wild hogs and the other rises to head out for a day of fishing. I sling my arm over my eyes to shield them from the light but it’s no use. I’m wide eyed awake, and there’s no turning off this brain.
What to do? What to do?
I attempt to sit out on the deck but it is sticky hot and the June bugs keep landing in my coffee. Flying dust from halfway around the world shields my view of the stars.
Yesterday’s conversations float through my thoughts.
“I figure we will all get this virus at some point.”
“Did you hear the governor has halted the reopening?”
“What about school? How will we manage to teach and keep our kids safe?”
“My coworker’s family tested positive. We are waiting on her results.”
“The new baby is back in the hospital.”
“The statue on campus was spray painted.”
“They postponed the wedding for another year.”
This is surreal living. With every conversation a phrase runs through my mind. Wars and rumors of wars. Over and over this is my internal response to bad news. What does it mean? Where have I heard these five words? A quick google search leads me to an expected place.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.–Matthew 24:6-8
I am not surprised by where I find the words though I am taken aback when I read them within the larger context. Honestly I am hesitant to share them. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. This is not “the end is coming soon” post because I have no idea how long “soon” will be. Nor will I pretend to understand the complete context of Jesus’ warning.
What I do see is a short little phrase to live by. See to it that you are not alarmed. It means feeling a sense of danger, urgently worried, concerned, or frightened according to Webster’s. In other words, see to it that you are not feeling a sense of danger or worry. Don’t panic or tremble in fear. Do NOT be alarmed.
Easy to say… much harder to live.
One of Jesus’ name is Lord. Of all the names I call him, this one is special to me. It is the one I use the most. I begin most conversations with Lord. I whisper this name in the midst of my fear. Lately I have taken to holding prayer beads tight and praying Lord have mercy on us again and again.
It literally means one having power and authority.
Jesus has all power and authority. I am certain of this even when I question why. Why allow sickness to ravage the world? Why does slavery still exist? Why wars and rumors of wars?
Not having the answer doesn’t change my understanding of who Jesus is. Jesus is Lord no matter my circumstance or the state of the world. I have no idea what it will take to transform the world, but I know it all begins with acknowledging who is Lord of my life.
In the midst of wars and rumors of wars I hold tight to the most familiar name to me.
Jesus is Lord…
See to it you are not alarmed…