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The Strong Tower . . . THRIVE, #11

During these unusual COVID times, there is good news and bad news. Bibles are having record sales~ how much do i love that? Families are spending great quality time~ not always easy, but good Individuals are recognizing how out of control their lives had really been consumed by busyness and 24-7 technology demands ~ wrong on many levels. People are Cr E a t I n g once again … of course, you’re creative! A record number of people tuned into virtual Easter services. Incredible. But, let’s talk about the dark side for a moment, and never forget for a minute, that it is there. You know, people love to quote these words of Jesus: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.1” Naturally, we really like that Jesus wants us to have an abundant life, but in the first part of the verse, Jesus says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.2 We are seeing the thief steal a lot in this season--lives, jobs, companies, and peace; even our emergency room doctors cannot take the pain of it all. While immuno-compromised folks and the aged have reason to be very cautious, and the rest of us need be prudent as well, I am struck by the palpable fear in so many. Perhaps just as bad, I am shocked by how easily we have let our freedoms be taken in the guise of protecting the health of citizens en masse. ‘Snitch’ phone numbers have been created to turn in neighbors breaking the rules. What is the cure for the fear that would cause such reactions? Fear is never of God. [Just now I hear someone saying, ‘but the Bible talks about the fear of the Lord, right?’ Yes, fear meaning reverence.] This encounter is insightful as to a cure for fear, anxiety, worry and snitching too. A couple weeks back when I was praying with Bennett at bedtime in North Carolina, he prayed that God would keep evil away from his family members and he named each of them. [Wait, what?! He is six years old.] As he prayed, a song immediately popped into my head and I sang it to him: The next day I showed him in my Bible the verse for that powerful song, Proverbs 18.10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. O, the power in God’s Word! In endeavoring to Trust God fully, to actually allow God to grow us during this crazy time, we need to know where to go when we are afraid, when we are nervous or worried-we must go to our strong Tower, just as simply as I enabled little Bennett to grab ahold of the strength of Jesus. God does not ask us to trust him blindly. Through his acts of power and the nature of his character, we see that he is not just able, but he is good. We trust him because all power and authority are his. But how amazing is this? He gives us the right to invoke the power that is in his name. As his earthly ministry drew to a close, Jesus told the disciples that from now on when they prayed, ‘you are to ask in my name.4’ Therefore, when we are overcome by a wave of worry or anxiety, we can run to Jesus for comfort. Just saying his name brings strength and power, as we invite him into our situation, knowing that he promises never to leave us, never to forsake us. There have been times in my life when I have not known exactly what to pray, just knew I needed Jesus, and that is all I had in me - I could speak out the name ‘Jesus’ as my prayer. Twas more than enough. The acronym for thriving: Trust God fully. . . and now, strong ower, THRIVE, #11 T get to know the Holy Spirit Read God's Word Be Intentional ~~>>Value every day, giving God thanks Exercise daily (outside, if possible) Do your part to T.H.R.I.V.E. and when you grow weak, you have a strong Tower. His name is Jesus. And in his name, there is power! Christine Todd DiGiacomo 1 - John 10.10b 2 - John 10.10a, NKJV 3 - I guess a boy at preschool had told him a couple years ago a lot about evil and it has stuck with him ever since 4 - John 16.24

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