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What to do in Turbulent Times: Abiding in the Lord

What to do in Turbulent Times: Abiding in the Lord

I honestly don’t know where to begin, except to say this week has been hard… to process... to walk through. To know what to say; what not to. 

It has felt a bit like a time warp. Like watching the scenes of history books unfolding... I keep waiting for the part that explains how all this started and how it was resolved. Except we’re not in a time warp, and this is not history. This is present. 2020. 

We stare horrified at our screens, mouths hanging ajar as we watch our people die; our country burn. Clash. Scream. Events are still unfolding; just when we think it can’t get any worse, it gets worse. 

Whether we’re feeling confusion, anger, pain, fear, shame or indignation, one thing is true of us all; our hearts are hurting. 

Some of us are just watching. Some have family or friends in the thick of this heat. Some are walking in the fire. If that’s you, we’re praying for you

This month we’re looking at the concept of abiding in the Lord. This might sound like a breath of fresh air. Or, it might feel impossible with all we’re processing. 

In light of the events across our country this past week, dissecting the concept of abiding doesn’t seem particularly constructive. Instead, the Lord continues to draw me to Scripture, and I can’t seem to find anything more appropriate to lean into in these trying times than Scripture itself. 

A common exercise for the practice of abiding is meditation. It is practiced by taking a piece of Scripture and reading it through a few times, letting it speak to you. This is a particularly helpful rhythm in turbulent times. 

This week I encourage you to meditate over Proverbs 3. It’s about life and wisdom, how to live a life that honors God, and even how to handle turmoil. 

It holds one of my favorite verses, which seems particularly applicable today:  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

It has been said that meditating on Scripture is like a gentle washing of the soul. My prayer is that this Scripture will wash over your soul as you meditate on words written from father to son so many years ago. 

Proverbs 3 (NIV)

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you. Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse anyone for no reason— when they have done you no harm. Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.

 

About the Author

Becky Nance is a mom of three girls, and wife to a worship pastor in central Iowa. She holds a M.A. in Ministry from Wesley Seminary with a concentration in Spiritual Formation. Becky spends much of her time mentoring young women, nurturing her babies, and crafting words to help shape the way we think about God.