A little girl's father was the captain of an ocean liner that sailed between London and New York. On one voyage across the north Atlantic, a major storm surprised him and was really blowing that ship around. Everyone was asleep in their cabins, including the captain's daughter and mother. They were sleeping, until the ship really pitched and the girl was thrown out of her bed. Her mother said, "Are you okay?" And she said, "Yes, I'm okay." Her mom asked, "Are you afraid?" To which the girl asked, "Is daddy still on deck?" And mom said, "Yes, he is. He's the captain." The girl said, "Then I'm going back to bed. I'm okay. Because daddy's still on deck."
With recent upsetting weeks of news, our hearts are heavy with what's going on in our world today. We're seeing and hearing things we haven't seen and heard for a long time, that we don't ever want to hear. Words like "World War III" and "nuclear threat," and heartbreaking violently graphic images. We're living in a worrisome, pretty dangerously volatile time.
Plus we have viral variants. We never know what tomorrow's news is going to hold, in terms of the next variant. Meanwhile, in some places, it seems increasingly Christians are being marginalized. Many would rather live in open rebellion against God.
It's stormy and there may be a kind of fear in your spirit - a gnawing apprehension, a tentativeness, stress, anxiety, a feeling of vulnerability and the potential unpredictability of our world and of our futures.
Yes, it's a worrisome world. But here's what our Daddy on deck says. Jesus said, "Do not let your heart..." - notice, you have to give your heart permission to be troubled. "Do not let your heart be troubled." Don't let that happen to you. He said, "I'm giving you peace like nobody can give you. So, do not let your heart be troubled." Interestingly, that word "troubled" means "divided, distracted." And next, "do not let your heart be afraid."
Over these weeks, as dark clouds have been piling up in our world, I needed a little help with that. So, I landed in Psalm 11:3-4, which I have often read throughout the pandemic. It asks a very interesting question: "When the foundations are being shaken, what shall the righteous do?" It seems many things that we've always had stable in our world, a lot of those foundations are shaking. So, what should the righteous do? The answer is in the next verse, it just doesn't sound like an answer at first. Oh, but it is. "The Lord is in His holy temple. The Lord is on His heavenly throne." That hasn't shaken. That won't be moving. I would suggest that you're living in one of those two verses and perhaps commute between them.
Sometimes we're living on the part about the foundations are shaking. What are we going to do? And sometimes, we're living in the part, "The Lord is in His holy temple. The Lord is on His heavenly throne." Honestly, I'd like to stay there instead of commuting back and forth.
So how will we choose to live? As we make decisions and set priorities, will we choose to look at everything from the throne room of the Most High God? How does it look from there? When we choose to live life looking from the throne room, and looking from the cross, we see the shepherd dying for the sheep, pouring out His heart, broken for a lost world, and for what we see in the news tonight. And if you look from the throne room and from the cross, you'll be more than a conqueror, through Him who loved you.
We have made things that are so small compared to God, so big in our minds and hearts, and have let them rule. And things that are so big, we've acted like they're so small. May we enter our days with a visit to the throne room, to see those we love. To see what we fear. To see what breaks our heart and burdens our heart.
Watching the news, Isaiah 40:26 really appeals to me - it says we stand in awe of the heavens and the One who created them. Think of the Hubble telescope and all it's captured. Talk about proportion. And the nations are a drop in the bucket. That's how big God is. And all the rulers of the world are brought to nothing - by the sovereign God of the book of Isaiah.
To see our choices from the throne room and through the cross, there will be a noticeable difference in our step and temperament. We will bring joy, peace, compassion and hope by our very presence. Our Lord helps us to not let our heart be troubled or afraid. Because we know that Daddy is still on deck.