Be Still

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Submitted by Ellie Goolkasian Lugo

Yesterday, with no planning, I sat down to pray at the same time Enrique began playing worship songs on piano. As I lifted my heart towards the divine presence, my husband sang these words:

“No hay lugar más alto,
más grande, que estar a tus pies!”

The translation, “There is no place higher or grander than to be at Your feet!”

I agreed at that precise moment with all my heart and soul. The pleasure of the knowledge of Him erased all worry. Sitting in quarantine inside my living room, I knew the power I had to fight the coronavirus, human trafficking, and worldwide unbelief in this God who was here with me, now. From a cold leather couch and a piano bench, my prayers and Enrique’s praises were destroying darkness and ushering in Light.

I had just been reading John Piper’s great book, The Pleasures of God. In it, he cites two huge promises God made to His people through Jeremiah.
“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them.” (Jeremiah 32:40) and
“I will rejoice in doing them good…with all my heart and with all my soul.” (v.41)
He will not stop doing good to us and He will rejoice in doing that good!
“God doesn’t do good to his children sometimes and bad to them other times,” writes Piper. “When things are going ‘bad,’ that does not mean God has stopped doing good. It means he is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving him.”

When God made these promises, the people of Judah were either being killed or exiled to Babylon. When He spoke, yesterday, those same promises to me, the world was being overrun by the coronavirus and human trafficking. Yet, God cannot lie. He is our refuge and our strength, and He will not turn away from doing good. Psalm 46 is a perfect meditation to the human dilemma of trying to align a good God with calamity. It seesaws back and forth between earth’s troubles and God’s help and seems to have no difficulty letting them co-exist – for now.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Bottom line? Be still, be in quarantine, and pray.
Meanwhile: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show his might in behalf of those whose heart is whole toward him.”
(2 Chronicles 16:9)


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