Psalm 46:8-10 (MSG) Attention, all! See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth, bans war from pole to pole, breaks all the weapons across his knee. “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
Growing up in Florida and living there most of my life, I have survived many hurricane seasons and endured the wrath of nature. In fact, I can pretty much sleep through such storms much to the chagrin of my family. The wind and rain beating on the roof. Windows moving back and forth from sheer force. Yet, there is a moment when the storm is passing over that one encounters the eye of the storm. It is a surreal moment of absolute stillness. The wind dies and the sun shines. All is calm. It is just before the backside of the storm releases its fury. The irony is that it is a time and space surrounded by the eyewall, a ring of towering thunderstorms where the most severe weather and highest winds occur.
It feels like the eye of the storm right now. The coronavirus has all but stopped the world from its orbit. In my lifetime, I have never experienced such stillness. The stores are empty. Companies and churches closed. Public transportation halted. The only thing moving is the economy on a downward spiral as the world seems to stand still. Could it be that this is an opportunity to stand still and know that He is God? I absolutely think this is a divine moment.
“Step out of traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
Oh friend, God loves us! He is inviting us in this time of panic, chaos and fear to stop moving. He is asking us to come closer to draw nearer and know that He is not just “I AM” but He is “I AM” Your God! Personal. Intimate. Faithful. Trustworthy. True. Always loving. Completely forgiving. Gracious. Kind. Sometimes we get so busy and wrapped up in our own life that I think the Lord offers an opportunity to pause. Unfortunately, human nature requires a radical shift in order to be taken off guard. When things are good, most people ignore the Lover of their Soul and Giver of all good things including our life. To get lost in the stillness of a world stopped and waiting. Don’t waste this wonderful opportunity.
Exodus 14:13 (MSG) Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.
In some translations, the Word of God says, “Be still” rather than “stand firm”. Talk about being stuck in stillness. The Children of Israel left Egypt only to be met with a raging sea and ensuing army. Certainly, God was not in this. What kind of God would set them free only to bring certain death? Not a good one that’s for sure. The Israelites were doing what they did best – complaining. Afraid. Ready to head back to captivity for safety sake. God told Moses – “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground. “Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase—I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am God.” (Exodus 14:15-18) What if all of this turmoil is a miracle in the making? What if there are seas about to be split wide open before you? What if…
Exodus 33:17-19 (MSG) God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please. Let me see your Glory.” God said, “I will make my Goodness pass right in front of you; I’ll call out the name, God, right before you. I’ll treat well whomever I want to treat well and I’ll be kind to whomever I want to be kind.”
Could it be that God is asking us to be still so that His Glory and All of His Goodness can pass by us? He positioned Moses in the cleft of a rock to keep him still. We are certainly in the proverbial rock and hard place, but what if it is because God’s Glory is coming for us. To be honest, our life and routine would have continued to race along if this whole pandemic had not come along. We could have continued with church as usual. Could it be friend that lost in this stillness – our relationship with the Living God will be renewed, restored, and revived? Oh absolutely! God uses everything the enemy meant for our harm for our good and His Glory. (Genesis 50:20) He does leave us or forsake us but is for us and with us. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Stop stockpiling and start standing still in the Presence of God. Look up not all around. God is doing something. Something worth seeing. He has positioned us perfectly to know and recognize that He is God. Not to resume a normal life but discover the extraordinary life that He planned and prepared for us long ago. (Jeremiah 29:11-14) The Living God has been after your heart. He wants mine, too. Not just our words and deeds but the depths of our being completely connected and devoted to Him. He wants to give us His Kingdom… now! How perfect and precious is He who would stop the whole world just to get our attention and give us His Affection! I am undone.
Psalm 37:7 (MSG) Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.