” Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
It seems that 2021 is going to be a year of uncertainty. Fear dominates the landscape. I’m having discussion after discussion about the pandemic, political issues, finances, and what seems to be an ongoing assault on the hearts and minds of people around the country. So I think the biggest question we must all ask ourselves is this; what can I control and what is out of my control?
Years ago I was taught a very simple prayer that has served me well over the years. Most reading this will know it as The Serenity Prayer. It says “God, grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.” That last line has always been the one that I’ve struggled with most often…knowing the difference. You see, when we get down to the truth of it I seem to be able to control very little. I can’t control the thinking and actions of those around me. I can’t control the current pandemic. I can’t control the current financial struggles in my community, in our country, and around the world.
I can control, through the wisdom and power of God, my response to all of the insanity I see happening around me. I can cast my vote in the elections. I can wear a mask, wash my hands, quarantine after testing positive for Covid (which I did last month) amid this pandemic. I can try to be a POSITIVE in the lives of those around me instead of feeding the fear and uncertainty. And most of all, I can point others towards the God that loves them without hesitation or reservation. Because in the end, that’s what is going to impact ME the most and drive who I serve….myself or others.
What I’m sharing with you is exactly what we share with the young people we serve. Yes, we provide food and housing and car repairs and numerous programs. However, there is not a “program” or “service” that has ever changed anyone’s life in the long run. God does. He changed me from the inside out over 26 years ago. The first 38 years of my life were spent serving myself and that never turned out well. When I first read the words of Jesus “No greater love has a man than this; that he lay down his life for a friend’ something inside of me changed. It’s not about ME! And all of my anxiety and worry and fear started to melt away.
Sound good? Then simply seek God. Proverbs 8:17 says “I love those who love me and those who diligently seek Me will find Me.” That’s quite a promise from the eternal God and creator of the Universe. It changed my life. I’ve seen how that one simple act has changed countless other’s lives. It WILL change our kid’s lives. And, if you’re struggling in this time of uncertainty, it will change your life.
Thank you for allowing us to carry this message to Albuquerque and throughout the State of New Mexico. Your gifts and prayers sustain us and are so greatly appreciated. Let us know how we might serve you. Keep us in prayer regarding our exciting new adventure-based outreach call “The 4:13 Journey” launching this Spring.
John D. Jones