Last year on this day 2019, I wrote this on my Facebook page:
“1 Cor. 10:10 And don’t complain as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer. I heard it once put this way, “complaining is the dog whistle for the destroyer.” Matthew Henry the puritan minister who wrote a 6 volume commentary said, “complaining about others conduct and holding yours as a standard is a way of sowing discord and killing love, to set people against one another.” Basically, truly kind people don’t toot their own horn. Jesus washed the disciples feet and said to them. John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Jesus is the standard. We are all just followers. Simple servants. #complaintandpride walk hand in hand. #complainandremain or #humbly shhhhh.”
I remember the Lord saying to me at the end of last year a few particular things:
- Use we not I
- Believe and speak
- You are not the standard
- Don’t complain, look for solutions or shhhhh
- My word for the year was goodness
At that time we have no idea what 2020 would hold. I think we all thought this would be the year of clarity. We thought things would finally make sense. How funny it is to look back and then marvel at how God spoke to me and how these simple phrases held me, helped me, and guided my way in the midst of nothing making sense.
With the entrance of the term “social distancing” the gaps between us seemed to get larger and larger. As I began to speak or write using “we” and not “I” this helped me personally to gather people closer to me rather than making the great gulf between seem even larger through my language choices. We really are in this together.
I began to slow down in what I was speaking – taking way more time to think before I spoke or posted. As I pondered what I actually believed about any given situation and then spoke or wrote honestly from that place of belief.
I refrained from pointing to myself. I am not the standard, Jesus is! This helped me to stay humble as the world began to roll into “what I think” mode on steroids with a slew of opinions and flying frustrations.
By far the hardest one was the Lords directive to not complain. There was so much pressure that it could be so easy to complain – covid, derecho, election, politics, masks, transitions and so much more. I managed by the grace of God to find the good and the joy even amongst the heartache and the hurt. I was able to put my energies to the things that could bring solutions or just plain be quiet.
Through it all I saw the Goodness of God in the hardest of moments. I saw His hand bring about a cohesiveness in places that should have fallen apart. He is good! He works all things for good. And He isn’t done yet!
Maybe some thought that I was being a coward for not speaking up in my opinion on all the political things or what I thought about the way the government was acting. Maybe they thought that I was not standing strong for what I believe in when states began breaking constitutional rights by shutting churches, censoring speech, and taking peoples right to freely move about and laying on mandates and making things mandatory. Maybe they thought I was full of pride or I just follow along blindly when I did or didn’t wear a mask. More on what I came to believe about masks here. Truth is I was following what my Lord told me. Everything else was just distraction.
Isaiah 50:7 But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
Set your face like flint is the figure of speech the prophet uses to describe the Messiah’s unwavering determination to persevere in the excruciating task set before Him. Christ would endure humiliation on His journey to the cross to die for our sins.
Every time I get my eyes off Jesus and look a different way. It does not go well for me.
What is the Lord speaking to you for 2021? Are you ready to set your face like a flint?
All is grace,