OLD GOAT Isaiah 46

It happens again when completing an online survey.  It requires my birth year.  To get to it, I scroll down this endless list.  Takes so long, I wonder if it’s even included.  Finally, eureka!  1947!  Guess it means I’m old as dirt, barely standing on my last leg, worse for wear, an over-the-hill geezer.  Enough already.  We get the point.

Thankfully, it takes only a few verses from my Bible to give a much needed lift.  Isaiah 46: 3-4–‘Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth.  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you.  I will sustain you and I will rescue you.’  See?  Told you so!

Since conception we’re in God’s good care.  Lovingly, He then carries us onward from birth.  Even an old goat like me receives His continuous, unbroken TLC.  Hardly means that we’ll dodge troubles and trials.  I wish… but not quite.  Does mean that God never deserts us.  Never.  Not a snowball’s chance…

That takes faith.  If only the size of a tiny mustard seed, it’s off to a good start.  As best you can, grab hold of God’s promises found in your Bible; which, amazingly, no longer gathers dust on an upper shelf but begins to blow off cobwebs of doubt and fear.  True?  Need a dust rag?

Remember, He’s always near and dear to us.  After all, He’s loved us from our life’s first moment.  Even before (Jeremiah 1:5).  There’s a thought for this week.  Chew on that until it’s well digested.  And then head back for seconds.  There’s lots more goodies where that came from!

 

Thank you, Jesus, for always being with us.  Amen.

 

SING, SING…A RELEASE FROM PRISON!…Ephesians 5: 18-20

Go ahead…sing to the Lord!  Really good medicine, which will release you from prisons of depression, anxiety and worry.  Just for a moment, turn off this world.  Turn off CNN and Fox News.  And sing to the Lord!

Ephesians 5: 19–‘…sing and make music in your heart to the Lord’.  I remember a time, many years ago,  when I was feeling very lonely, single, missing my boys on an everyday basis, far from family who never travelled, distanced from some friends who may have thought that divorce was an infectious disease that they could catch, in a job that required no time off for the first 5 years.  I was not wanting to serve another church for fear of what could happen once again.  People can be tough to deal with and I no longer felt tough enough to take it.   I was not spending time in God’s Word,  so some of my ‘prison’ was of my own making.  The isolation was very telling.  The loneliness gnawed at me.  I could feel it deep within my stomach.

One night I found my old hymnal from the Tabernacle in Ocean City, New Jersey.  Beginning to leaf through its pages, I started singing– ‘Victory in Jesus’, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’, ‘Trust and Obey’,  ‘On Calvary’, on and on, song after song, hymn to Jesus after hymn to our Lord.   It was wonderful!   Hoped that I had hard-of-hearing neighbors.  They probably wished they had a mute person living  in my apartment!  I sang and sang …to the Lord.  Those wonderful hymns and Gospel songs that I used to sing  as a new Christian.  The ones we sang at the Moody Bible Institute.

It was almost instantaneous.  I started to feel better. I’m not exaggerating. My mood lifted  like ‘Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary’.  Not so alone.  Not so alienated.  Not so imprisoned.

How about you?  Need a little help?  The Apostle Paul’s advice is still good.  Sing…make music in your heart…from deep within…all to the Lord.  Not singing for its own sake…but to our Lord!  Whatever your feelings this Christmas season, lift high the name of Jesus, the name above all names.  With your singing, notice that your own feelings will soar as well!  Happy singing!  Merry Christmas…to all!

Prayer:  We sing your praises, our Lord.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!