Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4
I recognized the sound. The thump and lope of a flat tire. I coasted to the grass along the country lane. Getting out of the car I saw that the tire was flat and coming off the rim. It was my first time to travel this road and I had only gone a few yards when I realized it wasn’t a road made for my little car. I should have turned around, but I thought I would just carry on and that is when I hit the pothole and ended the life of the rear driver’s tire.
I explained the situation to my daughter and got on the phone with a towing company. Thirty minutes later the truck backed up in front of my car. What happened next was bizarre, hilarious and unexpected. The driver explained to me that because of the Covid-19 we could not ride in the cab with him. I stared back at him. “Well,” I began. “I can call my other daughter to come to get us.”
“So, I do have another option.” He said, a twinkle in his eye. “You can ride in the car back to the shop.”
Windows down, seat belts on, my daughter and I princess waved as we rode down the main street. People pointed and laughed. Some stared and some chose to ignore the spectacle. I will admit it was great fun! A parade all our own. As I was enjoying the ride and of course the attention, I thought about how sometimes in your life you just must be carried. I had to trust the driver not only with my property but the lives of myself and my daughter. It was an unusual event in unusual circumstances.
Today across the world people are living in fear. The world has a common enemy. Not just of the virus that is storming every city, village, and town, but the worry about jobs, finances, health, losing a lease or home and the future of each of us and our loved ones. Now more than ever we need hope and faith. And now more than ever, the world needs to see Jesus. That is where we as Christians come in. You may be the only example of Jesus some may see.
We keep reading the same phase in news reports and articles, “These are unprecedented times.” These may be unprecedented times for the world, but this is no surprise to God. Allow him to carry you through this. Share your faith and hope in Jesus. Hold fast to your faith.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
I stood before the broken and worn statue of King Tutankhamen. There was not much left of the artifact, a remnant of colorful paint clung to the sandstone, his eyes dark and piercing looked out over the excited crowd. Cameras clicked, and people murmured as I slowly circled the effigy. This was a moment I had only dreamed and never believed that I would realize. But here I was, amid relics over 3,000 years old. Amazing sculptures, gold, jewelry, and carvings all for the Egyptian king to take with him beyond this world. It was apparent that great care was taken to ensure the boy king would have all required as he passed from this realm to the next. His tomb was decorated with scenes from life, instructions to overcome the obstacles he had to face as he journeyed through the underworld. The chambers in the tomb were filled with food, household goods, and items the king would need for his new life. All possibilities were thought of, and the tomb was filled to brimming with treasures. All that preparation, all those golden treasures and that care, yet the king left this world and could take none of it.
Unlike Tutankhamen, we have a hope that is not rooted in riches and deeds but in faith. We do not have to concern ourselves with material goods or if our needs will be met in the next world. Through Christ Jesus, we know that our debts are paid and our future is Heaven. Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
If we are focused on earthly treasures and comforts, then that is where our hope will lie. King Tut’s hope of a future was the riches that filled his final resting place. Your hope is in Christ.
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 ESV
I stopped by my friend’s place of business one afternoon to drop off a package. I went into the lobby and met her. We talked and giggled as is our usual custom. I got the car keys from her and headed to the parking lot. I pressed the fob to open her car and pulled at the door. However, the car door remained locked. I pressed the fob again and tried the door. Still, it was unyielding. Over and over I pressed the fob and pulled on the door. The front door opened and my friend yelled out, “Fob doesn’t work, you’ll have to use the key.”
Boy, was my face red. I was standing in the gray and misting rain pressing a button. It never occurred to me to use the key.
We are not much different when it comes to our spiritual lives. We carry around the spiritual keys, yet we fail to use them.
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Throughout the Bible, keys refer to power and authority. To be given keys is to be given authority and power to open and close. Jesus gave His disciples and in following all Christians spiritual authority.
Often we feel that we are without authority in this life but that is what the enemy wants you to believe. Jesus left you the keys. He left you with power and authority. You have been given a great privilege. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, he gained access to God for us through his blood. Therefore there are no more barriers between us and God, we have the keys to open every spiritual door.
Remember, you have the key, all you have to do is use it.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 ESV
The lush green moss provided a comfortable bed for me to stretch out. I bit into the firm white flesh of the pear, juice sweet and sticky escaped, trickling down my chin. Through the limbs of the walnut tree, I watched whisp of white float on an unseen current across the summer sky. Only the sound of an occasional car broke the steady hum of the insects busy at work. My grandmother sat on her milking stool, peeling pears, and apples for a pie. The sun had risen high glaring down on us and chased us out of the garden and into the cool shade of the ancient walnut, who’s limbs grazed the ground, bent by the clusters of nuts. She spoke as she made long curls of peel that hit the aluminum pan with a thud, telling us stories of her time in California during the Second World War. Tales of the tenants in their boarding house. Stories of lemon and orange trees at the back steps of the house. Nights filled with laughter and dancing as they clung to that moment, never knowing if the next would come. My eyes grew big as she told us about sitting around the radio and listening to the war reports, the fear, the wonder, will the enemy touch our shores. As the clouds lazily floated past her stories formed on the stage of my mind.
I loved those afternoons under the walnut tree, barefoot, wearing tank tops and shorts. The cool of the moss, the sweet fruit, and the smell of clean air. That hour or two that we escaped the heat and hid in the hazy shadows.
Life is fleeting, busy, stressful, meaningful, and at times seems meaningless, and we have a way of getting caught in that spiral. We all have schedules and deadlines; however, do not forget to take pleasure in what God has given you. As Solomon tells us, we were created to enjoy food, drink, each other and our jobs. God has provided many things for us to enjoy, do not allow yourself to get caught up in the spiral of deadlines, schedules, and worries. Take the time to enjoy the summer fruit.