Alarm. Confusion. Disobedience. Anguish. Tension. Disorder. Frustration. Fear. Disbelief. Denial. Whatever adjective you want to use, it’s vastly present in today’s world. Who would have ever thought we would be in a crisis situation such as this? Unbelievable … or so we thought. But, here it is … at our doorstep, in our homes and businesses, affecting our lives every minute of every day … an invisible, yet deadly threat to all of us.
This is real, folks, whether you want to accept it or not. Life as we knew it a month ago, last week or even yesterday, is nothing like this exact moment or like it will be the next hour, the next day …this could go on for months … or longer. Everything we knew in the past has changed, rapidly and confusingly.
Because of the unknown, we are fearful, we are uncomfortable, some of us are falling apart at the seams. So, when life falls apart, what do you do? All of us have faced difficult circumstances before, some of these situations lasting a long time. Unless we have a purposeful focus, we flounder and can’t get a grip. But, the good news, and there is some … we can find hope and peace by setting our eyes on God and focusing on His character, His ways, and His will.
Maybe now is a great time to reread the sayings on the hangtag we put on each of the crosses you’ve shared with others. I hope you will spend some time thinking about each one.
Trust in His Timing
This might be the time in our lives when we have to learn to let go. Say good-bye to loved ones, rid ourselves of unnecessary possessions, release control, and TRUST. Trust God … just one day at a time, as the song goes. Practice trusting and thanking Him over and over as we go through each day. By practicing putting our trust in Him, He will lift us above our present circumstances. We will gather strength and our fears will be taken away, as he promised.
‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.’
Rely on His Promises
When we talk our heart matters over with God, He will answer us. He does want to hear what we have to say and we shouldn’t ever be afraid to share this intimacy with Him. After all, He knows what’s in our hearts before we even speak. In today’s hysterical world, there are many maniacal voices out there that are trying to pull us in all the wrong directions. We need to take time from this chaos; find a place we can be still and listen to His voice and His voice only. He has promised us strength, hope, peace and awareness of His continual presence; no power can deny that.
‘Taste and see that I am good.’
Wait for His Answers
Of all the sayings on the hangtag, this is probably the hardest one for me. I ask; I pray … but I don’t always wait. I’m human; I’m too impatient … ‘Give it to me now or I’ll do it myself!’ That attitude gets me in a lot of trouble. But I’m slowly learning the more patiently I pray, the more answers I receive if I just open my heart and talk earnestly to God. When I ask Him to lead me and then patiently wait, His guidance is always given. Patience! It’s simple, but not easy … please, God, can you make it easier for me??
‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.
Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.’
2 Peter 3:9
Rejoice in His Goodness
God loves to shower blessings on us, His beloved children. Let’s approach Him with open hands and thankful hearts, ready to receive all He has to give. It’s impossible to thank Him too much but every minute we do, we glorify Him and that fills our hearts with unspeakable joy! He is our constant companion and is totally devoted to us. By glorifying Him, our hearts become so full of the Holy Spirit that we become an example to others!
‘I take great delight in you; I rejoice over you with singing.’
Believe in His Miracles
Sometimes the road we’re on seems impossible to travel. But, when we walk along this road, hand in hand with God, we face nothing alone … pleasures, hardships, adventures, disappointments. He brings beauty from the ashes; He gleans joy out of sorrow; and, He restores peace from adversity. I wake up each morning asking, ‘God, what great thing will You show me today?’ Remember: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. This King of Kings is my eternal BFF … not to be outdone by anyone or anything else! Glorious!!
‘We cannot understand the great things He does,
and to His miracles there is no end.’
Relax in His Presence
God’s plan for us is greater than we can even imagine but not many people realize that. We are normally so busy scurrying around that we completely miss what He has in mind for us. I suggest that now would be a great time to take some time with God and soak in His love and grace. I think that as we relax more and more with Him, we’ll find that whatever we’re holding onto so tight will gradually release. And, as we release more and more things into God’s care, we will come to know that He will never let go of our hand. And, therein lies our security, not to be taken by anyone or any circumstance ever again.
‘I am with you, watching over you wherever you go.’
As we continue working our way through the pandemic that’s sweeping the world, we need more than ever to hold tight to the cross. We need to remember what Jesus did on that cross for us … He died so we could live. He gave us salvation; He freed us from paying for our sins; His grace and love are ours for eternity. Jesus isn’t asking for us to pay Him back but the least we should do is be a godly example for others and help them grow strong spiritually. We should be the light so others can see Him through us. Maybe that’s the answer to our prayer, ‘Lord, so many people are hurting in so many ways. I want to help. What would you have me do?’
This world, as we have known it, is reeling and we need You more than we’ve ever needed You. We know You are speaking to us; we ask that You help us open our ears and our hearts to Your Will. The coronavirus pandemic is a very real thing and it is affecting many, many lives. Please give those infected, those isolated/quarantined, those sheltered at home strength, comfort and hope; we all need to feel Your tender care. Please protect the doctors, nurses and staff attending the infected; give them the knowledge and guidance to treat this disease. More than ever, this is the time we need our government officials to work together; we ask that You guide them to make sound, timely decisions for all of us. Please watch over the many manufacturing companies as they feverishly work to produce the equipment/materials so badly needed by the medical teams. And, please bless the military and the private sector as they step up, in whatever capacity that may be, to offer helping hands to their neighbors. We are all calling out to You to lead and guide us, to erase our confusion and fear. Your Will will be done; please give us patience to wait for Your answers.
I wanted to share these great words from our family:
God bless you! These crosses will go to residents in the nursing home.
Kathy – MN
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Blessings to all at Cross The World in the matchless name of Jesus. We have a small church in Ottumwa, IA and we declare in the name of Jesus the crosses we order are going to be a huge ministry tool for our church to use to witness for our Lord and add to the Kingdom of God. Hallelujah! Thanks be to God! God bless. Thank you!
Pam – Jesus is the Answer Fellowship, Ottumwa, IA
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Thank you so much for your ministry!
Pastor Bonnie – Cando Lutheran Church, Cando, ND
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I was a missionary to Ukraine off and on for about 25 years, also spent time in Moldova, and Poland. I recently received a cross from a church called Hope in Westminster, California. I try to go to the Huntington Beach Pier and make myself available for people that pass by either for prayer, or some free Christian materials about the love of Jesus Christ. I also go to various food banks in Orange County. With Resurrection Sunday around the corner, I would love to pass these out to those who desire one.
David – CA
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God bless your ministry!
Pastor Tom – Alverton United Methodist Church, Youngwood, PA
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And, we are so thankful that crosses were generously shared by these kind folks in March:
Diane – TX
Epworth United Methodist Church – New Castle, PA
Byers Avenue United Methodist Church – Joplin, MO
Santa Cruz Lutheran Church – Tucson, AZ
First English Lutheran Church – Spencer, IA
Ilonha – VA
Jennifer – IN
Joy – MN
Sue – MN for Lamp Ministries
Dodie – MN
Christ Lutheran Church – Slayton, MN
Open Door Community Church – Breezy Point, MN
The Word Christian Church – Ft. Mohave, AZ
Brenda – ND
Brenda – CO
Tom – CA
Hilltop Chapel – Palisade, MN
Greg – MI
St. Francis Hospital – Tulsa, OK
Bob – MN
Holy Cross Church – Onamia, MN
Cando Lutheran Church– Cando, ND
Stella – OR
Christian Senior Bible Study – Foley, MN
Good Samaritan Society – Inver Grove Heights, MN
Roger – IL
Jesus Is The Answer Fellowship – Ottumwa, IA
Alverton United Methodist Church – Youngwood, PA
Volunteers of America Care Center – Sleepy Eye, MN
Frank – MI
David – CA
Cuyuna Regional Medical Center – Crosby, MN
My Father’s House – Minneapolis, MN
And, finally, we all need a chuckle.