What Matters Most

Lodi lake

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away; therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:1-6

I was grieved by the news today. We’ve become a nation that now thinks it’s okay to openly negotiate with murders and cold-blooded killers. (I am speaking of the Taliban) Our government traded five notorious radicals that would think nothing of beheading your children, your elderly parents, your wife, your husband, your best friend, for a U.S. soldier who went missing as a deserter of his platoon. His own father uttered an Islamic greeting, referring to allah, during the press conference at the White House and he has also said he wants every detainee released from Guantanamo.

Meanwhile, Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American Pastor who converted to Christianity, is serving the first year of an 8 year prison term for working with the underground church in Iran and protecting Iranian Christians from persecution. He was also working to open orphanages in Iran. He has endured long stints in solitary confinement, according to his supporters, beatings and torture at the hands of his jailers and fellow inmates. For months, he has been “denied proper medical attention for his injuries, according to his family and attorneys.”

His wife has repeated appealed to congress and the President for his release with no response.

All this to say, that while events of this world and the news distress us, we shouldn’t be surprised by any of it. Jesus Himself said as such. Instead we need to be focused on keeping our eyes on the One who keeps us in His peace and holds us in His grace. While there is always much to worry and stress about in this life, there is more beauty still.

Lately, my prayer has been that I will wake up before it’s too late. I don’t want to live from weekend to weekend just getting by. Sometimes, those of us with particularly stressful jobs (and really, who doesn’t?) put ourselves on autopilot. When we do that, we fail to really see the people and situations around us.

There is so much to be thankful for every day. Time is flying by at warped speed and I don’t want to miss what God has for me. No matter what we might think about the current political climate, with eternity’s values in view, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is our relationship to our Father and to each other.

And love, love always matters most of all.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

 

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