by Laura Cowan
The Inauguration, and the gamut of responses- mine included, reminds me of a conversation between Joshua and the Lord.
Joshua asks the Lord, "Are you on our side, or allied with our enemy?"
The Lord replies, “No;"
I find this answer humorous. "No." as in, "Wrong question, buddy." While this word has also been translated to say, "Neither," I think there's deeper meaning to the original translation. I think it spurs us to focus on the right questions.
I did a little research on all our past presidents and their terms of office. Among them, I found acts of moral corruption, fraud, extortion, embezzlement, and every kind of evil; along with acts of courage, heroism, and justice and kindness. Some presidents were abhorred, others adored, and many were both.
Through it all, we have continued to exist, and will, until, as the Lord said to Joshua,
"No; but I am the Commander in Chief of the army of the LORD and NOW I HAVE COME." Loud speakers will continue to thunder our national anthem until the Lord pulls the plug.
I vote, I pray, and I "honor the king" (though it's a tough discipline some years); but may my response to things outside my control be as Joshua's was in that encounter: "Joshua fell on his face to the earth in reverence and worshipped Him, and said, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" (Joshua 5:13,`14)
A better question than, "Whose side are you on?" is "How shall I now live?" The answer remains this: In Christ. We take our cues from the One, "in whom we live and move and have our being."
"Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Have respectful fear of God. Honor the emperor." 1 Peter 2:17
(That verse should keep me busy for at least a lifetime).
From Laura Cowan's Blog ...
I was almost robbed this morning. Robbed of joy. In this most joyous of seasons, “thinking over” became over-thinking, and I nearly twitched with anxiety way before my first sip of caffeine. The issue, so insignificant as to be invisible to the naked eye, magnified to outrageous proportions thanks to a little help from my “friends” a.k.a. “thoughts”. I even picked a fight with John. Thankfully, he slept through it all.
So I started thinking about joy, and joy-stealers. I have experienced pure, inexplicable joy in the most unlikely circumstances. Like, years ago when the FBI told us a hit-man had been hired to do us in, and we chose to stay and serve the church John pastored, rather than change our names and move out of state via the victim witness program. As we traveled home from that meeting, joy filled our car like cream fills an eclair.
So, if circumstances doesn’t rob joy, what does?
Unbelief. Unbelief pretty much leads to every dastardly deed in my life. I don’t believe God is in control, so I worry. I don’t believe God’s Word is relevant to my situation, so I disobey. I don’t believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, so I judge other’s disbelief. I don’t believe God has a plan, so I lick my wounds, take control-ha! what a ridiculous concept- and snuff out one of the most convincing proofs that God exists, and lives in me: JOY.
So today I choose joy, because I choose to believe. And in those times when my heart beats to a different drum, I will pray as the desperate father did in Mark 9:24: “I believe- help me in my unbelief!”
“The Bible is a book of joy. There are 542 references to joy in the Bible. The gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ is a passport to joy. The secret of Jesus was-and is- His inner joy.” S. Wirt