Hang in there, Soldier!

Every day has enough trouble of its own, doesn’t it? That’s why Jesus said “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” My goodness, if you insist on worrying – which most people do – at least worry about today.

Maybe just worry about the morning, if you must…

There are all kinds of things that can go wrong yet this morning. No kidding! In the last 24 hours alone, I have talked with a person whose children are deeply troubled, a person whose adult daughter will not talk with her, with two friends going through divorce, with a person confused about her finances, with a pastor friend who just heard that one of his parishioners is full of cancer and was given four weeks to live, with another pastor who was in court today to hear the 4-year sentence given to one of his parishioners and with a friend whose lower back pain is so severe she scheduled to have an immediate second injection to try and relieve the pain.

That in the last 24 hours, and I’m sparing you several other conversations I had. This morning as I prayed for me and my family and for those faced with troubles a plenty, I read from Luke 17 where Jesus said, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

I often wonder how will any of us make it through this world if that is not true? How can we? How do people make it who do not know this truth – the truth that God is living and ruling right inside our little mortal bodies?

We followers of Jesus are happy, joyful, content people – at least I hope we are – but we are not unrealistic people who live in a state of denial. No, the whole creation is in birth pangs longing to be released. Who doesn’t know that? But it’s not just around us.

It is within us. We feel it deeply inside us, and yet we are joyful, peaceful souls. No wonder the apostle Paul said the Spirit of God helps us pray as we groan, pleading for God’s help. Those I talked with in the last 24 hours feel acute pain. No denying that. I pray that God will deliver them, and I pray for their joy — indomitable joy in the face of their suffering.

This absolutely is not the time for giving up…

I can only say to them and to myself, “Don’t give up hope. Stay at your post. The kingdom of God is within you regardless of your circumstances.”

Today we wait with expectation, hoping, longing, and looking for that day of full deliverance. May you, may I, may our family know and experience joy this very day from the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead.

God’s Spirit is right there alongside your spirit. He who raised Christ from the dead woke you up this morning. He kept your little heart beating inside your chest 100,000 times in the last 24 hours. He alone gives life to your mortal bodies. And nothing can ever separate you from the risen Jesus, who lives inside of you, who is praying for you today and who, one day, will take you all the way home.

So stay at your post, soldier!

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