God Will Help Us
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
Lord, come to my aid when I fear the world. Help me to realize that YOU are always there.
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Malcolm Muggeridge was a great English writer who became a committed Christian later in life. He tells the story that he became Christian because of the life, the presence, and the ministry of Mother Teresa. He wrote a book about Mother Teresa entitled Something Beautiful for God. In that book he tells about the time when he first met her and visited Calcutta in the late 1930’s. This is what he said. “I walked through the streets of the poverty of that city, poverty beyond belief. I kept walking, experiencing that until I became physically ill. I ran away, I went back to my comfortable hotel room and took a stiff shot of whiskey to expiate the wretchedness of my experience.”
Later he discovered Mother Teresa walked the same streets and went into the same places he visited some years before. He said, “The difference — I ran away, but Mother Teresa crossed the line. She stayed, and healing took place.” He saw that her compassion for others came from a source that eluded him. To his surprise that source was her faith in Christ and His ability to change the heart of any man. With that realization he came to a transformative experience with Christ.
Many of us are professing Christians who are missing something. The missing link in the walk of many who profess Christ is a true compassion for the unlovable. Our western society is not compassionate by nature, but Jesus is. He sets the bar of compassion by eating with sinners, touching the untouchable, healing the outcast, and most importantly, giving Himself for the sins of all humankind. We can all learn from Muggeridge’ s experience and see life through that lens of compassion. When we do, things become so much more beautiful.
What does a Christ-like mind look like as we live in the world? We can see it clearly in the great saints and martyrs, such as Mother Teresa or Albert Schweitzer. I’m drawn as well to the idea William Placher suggests in his book “Narratives of a Vulnerable God” as he uses an illustration from the world of basketball. Professor Placher writes, “In basketball the players who are always asking, ‘How am I doing? Am I getting my share of the shots?’ Those are the ones who never reach their full potential. It is the players who lose themselves who find themselves. And it’s that kind of self-forgetfulness that makes the best players.” And isn’t that the case with all of us in whatever we do?
I read about one of the fastest growing churches in the world, with branches in 32 countries already. It is called the Winners Church, and according to its leaders, it lives by a motto that comes from America’s religious culture. Here’s the motto: “Be happy. Be successful. Join the winners.” People flock to that kind of church, I guess. But it all depends, doesn’t it, on how we define winning? I wonder what kind of church you would have if your motto were “Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.” Or about this one for a motto, “Those who want to save their lives will lose them and those who lose their lives for my sake, will find them.”
For the past several years I have lived with the Christian mystics, and sought that God would allow me to learn from them. One of the most important lessons they have taught me is the act of putting self behind. In doing so, I place God in front. He belongs there.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta has these words on the wall of her orphanage. They are derived from the paradoxical commandments of Kent Keith. They were a new discovery to me. I hope you enjoy them.
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
LOVE THEM ANYWAY
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight,
People really need help but may attack you if you help them,
HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth,
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY.
- Paradoxical Commandments (raleighwrites.wordpress.com)