Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday's with Jesus #165

#165 "Run"
September 16, 2008
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe." (Proverbs 18: 10)
"Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child". The source of that quote is unknown, but I believe that whoever wrote it knew something about running. Heroes of the faith like Moses, David, Solomon, and even Jesus Himself, knew how to run. Not running away from anything, but running to...
When hurricanes are coming we run to higher ground. In like manner, when life's storms are raging we must run to Higher Ground. [By the way, I have been on my knees for all you Texarkana girls...praying you are all safe and praising God that Ike didn't pack the whole punch he was expected to  :) ]
When you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is the foreclosure of your home or the fact that you have to face another day alone...run. When you find yourself up in the midnight hour and your mind races over your fears for a child gone wild, how you're going to pay that bill, or the horrendous work day ahead of you at day's dawning...run. When it seems like all Hades has broken loose in your life, and all manner of problems beset you, and you feel overwhelmed, and your mind can't stop racing....run hard and run fast.
It kind of reminds me of Dorothy. The twister was imminent and Auntie Em and Uncle Henry had to close the storm cellar to save their own lives. But Dorothy was too preoccupied with her troubles and dawdling with Professor Marvel to get back home in time. She thought that the answer to all her problems was to run away. Because of that fateful mistake she ended up in Oz. I don't know about you, but Oz presented a whole lot of pretty creepy things if you ask me. Witches and wizards. Munchkins and flying monkeys. Things that defy your imagination. Confusion. Run away and end up confused in Oz. Run to...and end up safe.
One day when the apostles gathered with Jesus they voiced their amazement at all they had seen and done. They were witness to amazing miracles as well as horrible things, like hearing that John the Baptist had been beheaded. They were so swamped with people and their requests of Jesus that the Bible says they did not even have a chance to eat. (see Mark 6: 30-31) Right there, Jesus gave them the secret of running. And right there, He gives it to us too. "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (Mark 6: 31)
Rest and safety are found in no other place than in the presence of Christ. "In thy presence is fullness of joy." (Psalm 16: 11 KJV) "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe." (Prov. 18: 10) Running to God, presenting your requests before Him, with thanksgiving, gives you "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding". (See Phil. 4: 6-7) "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee". (Isaiah 26: 3 KJV) David knew it. Solomon knew it. The apostle Paul knew it. Isaiah knew it. Even Jesus knew it. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." (Mark 1: 35) 
"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude]." (Romans 12: 2 Amplified Bible) The world's way is to run amok. To panic. To allow fear and confusion to govern the storm filled moments of our lives. We must entirely renew our minds and bring every one of our thoughts into captivity and make it obedient to Christ. (see 2 Cor. 10: 5) This is not a passive activity that comes by osmosis at the moment of salvation. We must actively train our minds to be renewed. We must actively participate in changing the way we react to racing minds, confusing situations and raging storms.
We must train ourselves to run.
I am presently working on this one right along with you. Let us, together, do some mind renewing and lots of running. When storms strike, let's say, "I've got to get to Jesus." Then run. When storms linger for longer than you'd prefer, and your enemy tries to discourage you, confuse you, and tempt you to give up, make getting to that quiet place with Christ your number one priority. There are days...seriously...that I can't get to Jesus fast enough.
Running to Jesus doesn't automatically make the storm go away. Remember? "Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child". Spending time with God isn't a magic wand that changes situations in a flash. There's no Wizard there. But the God of the Universe is there. The One who stills racing minds and hearts. The One who gives you His perspective and His peace. The One who gives you rest. After you've met with Him, the situations may remain the same, but you will never be the same again. 
Welsh poet, Anna L. Waring will close us out this Tuesday morning:
"In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear; And safe is such confiding, for nothing changes here. The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid, but God is round about me, and can I be dismayed? Wherever He may guide me, no fear shall turn me back; My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing shall I lack. His wisdom ever waketh, His sight is never dim; He knows the way He taketh, and I will walk with Him. Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen; Bright skies will soon be o'er me, where darkest clouds have been. My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free; My Savior is my treasure, and He will walk with me."
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