Worried? Scared? Angry? I am. To be completely open and honest, there are three issues in particular that seem to have recently become increasingly triggering for me. They are marriage and family, the next United States presidential election, and racism. Many Christians feel that marriage and the family are under attack. Then I hear of citizens who feel there are no good options to choose on the next ballot. And the latest news headlines reek of the racial tensions so prevalent in our country. These topics are huge in my brain right now. What will come of all this chaos? What will my girls’ futures be like as these events unfold and continue to impact our world? Will it all “work out?” What does “it working out” look like? What should I be doing or not doing? Saying or not saying? At times I want to shut off all forms of media and go to bed ignorant as I begin to feel overwhelmed, hopeless, helpless.
What I have just painted is a picture of worry, fear, and anger. That is, me assessing my current state of affairs, finding more problems than solutions, more questions than answers, more gloom than glory, more anxiety than peace.
Can you relate?
If so, consider this: we aren’t the first generation of believers to feel this way.
The children of Israel were worried in Egypt, scared at the Red Sea, and angry in the Desert of Paran.
But what I also find interesting is what we read about in Numbers chapter 10. Here we find the Israelites in Sinai, preparing to depart for the land of promise. Just before this departure takes place, the Lord gives Moses instructions to make two silver trumpets. These trumpets were blown for four primary commands producing order and discipline.
- They gathered when the trumpets were blown (verse 3).
- They journeyed when the trumpets were blown (verses 5, 6).
- They fought their enemies with memories of their last victory when the trumpets were blown (verse 9).
- They rejoiced when the trumpets were blown (verse 10).
From this point on, every move they made was to be in response to the sounding of these trumpets. It was not a matter of how they felt. It was explicitly a matter of obedience. They moved at this sound, not at the sound of their concerned and weary hearts.
My first thoughts after reading this passage were, “If only we had those two silver trumpets today! Perhaps we’d experience more order and discipline.”
Then I studied more and learned something: the sounding of these trumpets demonstrated God’s provision and His desire for them to be completely dependent on Him for the order and discipline they needed. And that’s the purpose His Word serves for us today. We may not have the audible sound silver trumpets, but we do indeed have the Word of God sounding off God’s desire for us to always depend on and trust in Him.
When all I hear is chaos, all I’m left with is worry, fear, and/or anger.
But, when I lean in to the sounding off of Holy Scripture, I’m left with a sense of peace brought on by the order and discipline it provides.
What will come of all this chaos? Every knee bowing. . . (Philippians 2:10)
What will my girls’ futures be like? Every tongue confessing . . . (Philippians 2:11)
What does “It working out” look like? Jesus Christ as Lord! (Philippians 2:11)
It is no mistake or happenstance that you and I are alive today. With this mess. These issues. These struggles. These opportunities to be the Church God created us to be.
Worried? Scared? Angry?
But now, get this:
I’m focused on following our orders to:
- gather with other believers,
- journey in a direction that draws us closer to God,
- fight – not each other, but our true enemy,
- all the while rejoicing for we have the victory in Christ!