“Keep it simple, keep it pure. Keep it sincere.” The more I dive into the Word this year, expecting some complex revelation to wash over me, the more I hear this. Back to the basics in the New Year. My 9 year old woke up yesterday morning and told me about a dream he had. Just before he woke up, there before him was a bright sign declaring “God Helps At Hard Times.” He remembered it and was struck by it. I asked him to write it down for me. He did, in bubble letters, because he said thats how it was written. God used bubble letters. Awesome.
Childlike. Bordering on cliche. Of course God helps in hard times. Sunday school 101. Check. Got it.
As we talked about it though, I started to wonder…
Do we turn to Him in our “hard times” for real? Or do we retreat into ourselves and our own futile efforts?
Have I been an example to my children that God really is the strength in our weakness? Or have I taught them to try and ‘perform’ their way out failures or difficulties?
I came across this beautiful bit of truth this morning and the question hit me again:
“PILLAGE AND LOOT THE WORLD FOR ALL IT’S WORTH, BUT ONLY IN JESUS IS THERE 100% ACCEPTANCE BEFORE EVEN 1% PERFORMANCE.” Ann Voskamp
Whoa. I stop for a moment, knowing how much I need this and how much I barely grasp it. We can’t perform our way out of trouble or failure or disappointment. Hard times come in all degrees. Some are annoying. Some are downright tragic. What is our first instinct when we are challenged? When the enemy pushes every button, tempts us in every way to give up and give in… where do we turn?
“God Helps At Hard Times.” If we let Him.
The simple things are often the most profound. Oh how we long for the new, the fashionable, the ever-changing. The world we live in demands it. We can check e-mail, twitter, facebook, instagram and Pinterest all while sitting at a stoplight. Sadly, modern day Christianity also demands it. People aren’t comfortable with the pure, straightforward truth of the Word anymore. There must be something new to discover or believe. The old truths need a new spin. New books must be bought. New catch phrases are created. And we lose Jesus in the mix.
God’s truths to each one of us are new every day. They aren’t stale leftovers of what someone else received. They’re personal. They aren’t complicated, but they are very profound.
This new year, I don’t need to go buy a new Bible study based on how promising it’s cover looks. I need to open my own Bible. I need to listen to my kids. I need to look for God in the simple things and let Him reveal Himself through them.
Two weeks into the new year, I am asking God what HE wants for me this year.
Keep it simple. Keep it sincere. Keep it real.
God IS with us.