This week I’d like to just open my heart to you a little bit about the current events in our wonderful nation. For years now, the political divide between the people of this country has been growing, which was cause for concern in and of itself. Then this year barely got started and we were hit with the coronavirus pandemic. While that was unfolding, we experienced several unwarranted killings of Black people by law enforcement, which came to a head with the death of George Floyd and the ongoing protests seeking to correct those injustices. To complicate things, it seems there are also anarchist groups taking advantage other people’s oppression to advance their own lawless agenda. All of this has moved our nation to a place of anxiety and instability I think few of us have ever experienced or perhaps even know how to cope with.

In the midst of this, I want to encourage all of us not to lose perspective or forget where our true grounding and stability lie. First of all, don’t let all the news we’re bombarded with push you to a place of fear and anxiety. I heard of a woman who was sharing her fear and anxiety from what’s going on with someone, and that person gave some great advice. It was to turn off all the news for one week—don’t look at, listen to, or read anything—and surround yourself with positive things. If you’re feeling like that woman, I’d like to suggest you follow that advice. Further, I want to add this—spend the time you’d normally spend on the news reading encouraging passages of Scripture. Here’s a wonderful piece of encouragement: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe” Proverbs 18:10. Our true grounding and stability are in the Lord our God.

Second, I believe we must strive to live the words of Jesus in John 13:35 now more than ever before: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” My heart truly breaks for what I see happening in our nation, and while we may not be able to impact it on a macro level, we certainly can on a micro level. We can make things better for the people we interact with and for the people in our own community by passionately pursuing a life of self-sacrificing love, which is the kind of love Jesus demonstrated toward us. I think of how beautiful it can be when each of us demonstrates that same love to the people around us, regardless of who they are.Last, I encourage you to just relax and rest in the Lord. Trust fully in Him. Don’t try to solve things on your own. I’m reminded of this powerful passage that is often so hard for us humans to actually do. “For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:  ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’  But you would not, and you said, ‘No, for we will flee on horses’—therefore you shall flee!  And, ‘We will ride on swift horses’—therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!  One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain and as a banner on a hill.  Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you” Isaiah 30:15-18. Let’s all slow down, be quiet, and rest in the Lord. I think we’ll be a lot happier and more peaceful. 

Welcome to Richardson! 
Grace and Peace to You,
Pastor Byron