“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” –The Lord of the Rings, J.R. Tolkien
We all have those times that we feel like Frodo. This occurrence, this circumstance, this virus, is not my choice, but it is my lot. Now, what to do?
The Book of Wisdom and Life (a.k.a. The Bible) has plenty of guidance for our actions during troubling times. Here are some words from the Book of Romans, chapter 12.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.Romans 12:9-18
Let’s see if we can sort through these verses to find some actions for today.
Love. Really love. Pretending just won’t work, so we are not talking about lip service. This type of love hates evil and clings to the good. This love places others first, and practices kindness. (verses 9, 10)
Serve, fervently. Do the tasks before you, even if they are not your chosen tasks. Do them for God. (verse 11)
Rejoice in hope. No long faces here. God is still on the throne, and He will prevail. (verse 12)
Be patient. Now that’s a kicker! Sometimes we just have to wait for an answer, and we don’t need to make others miserable as we wait. (verse 12)
Pray. We are not defeated, nor have we given up. We are communicating with the God of the Universe. He hears our prayers. (verse 12)
Give. Take care of others. There are a lot of ways to show hospitality. It may be a phone call or a note. It may mean sharing the Word of Life. We may have something we can give to another or to a ministry that gives to others. Look for opportunities. (verse 13)
Bless. Yes, even those who may be against you. Live a life of blessing (verse 14). Oh, and watch that language that tears down and destroys.
Sympathize and Empathize. Many are hurting. Support them. Many have reasons to rejoice. Join their rejoicing. (verse 15)
Practice Humility. Don’t think you are better than another, and don’t think you know it all. (verse 16)
Be Honest. We are not in a game of pay back. Just live honestly in every area of your life. Every. Area. (verse 17)
Live in Peace. Don’t be the one to start the argument. As much as possible, as much as depends on you, live in peace. (verse 18)
Wow! Read the verses for yourself. You will probably find even more there to give you courage and purpose for today.
One thing I notice about scripture – I never see God honoring pity parties. He is about love, about service, about hope, about joy, about…….
Who knew that there was so much for me to do when things are not going my way? Who knew that I could be productive and happy even in trial? Who knew?
I Peter 5:10 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Photo: Beautiful Weed ©Beth Mims