“May You Live in Uncertain Times”

This builds on an image I’ve had in prayer before: that I’m comfortably wrapped in cloth, but in such a way that I can’t speak, or see, or freely move. I am laying in a warm, safe place, and Jesus is with me, not talking, but making sure that nothing bothers me while I’m in this state.

It’s practice. Every time I’ve seen it, it’s practice. The future is terrifying – we can’t see or know what’s going to happen; often we’re helpless to influence its progression. Sometimes even the present is blinding, deafening, paralyzing. But the message of this daydream I’ve had in prayer is always this: there is no need to panic. There is no need to panic simply because we are unable to understand or manipulate the things around us. We can lay still through the darkness, and choose not to panic. The inability to see or do does not automatically mean danger. The things that make us powerless are not always bad things.

When I first had this image in prayer, I was terrified. I fought against the cloths that bound me, I wanted my eyes and mouth uncovered. Gradually, however, I began to settle down. I went a little longer each time. I started to really comprehend that I was in no danger, but instead protected. It began to feel right to be in the Presence of God this way – not speaking, not fighting Him, not seeking to see ahead but instead to be present. I’m not saying that the Love of God binds us in this manner – I’m saying time does. And the more we can realize that our inability to affect the outcome does not give us license to panic, the better.

It’s hard to talk about this next part, because it was very recent and still very emotional to me. But I hope that You can benefit from what I learned. I saw Jesus take me like this, bound and unable to see or move, only enabled to walk. He led me down a bank and I quickly realized He was walking me right into the ocean. I felt the water coming up my sides, clean and comfortable, and I was happy, but I had no ability to swim. Taking to the water, Jesus swam out and guided me by His one hand on me… we submerged, and He moved closer to breathe air into my lungs. Now I was completely reliant on Him  – I could not get air but for His periodic gifting of it; I could not keep myself moving and not sinking except for His hand guiding me.

And if this visual sounds terrifying, let me tell You, having been there, and felt it – it felt wonderful. It was a wonderful moment of proximity to my God, and I found myself in wonder, yet again, that He lets me touch Him so much. He is so far and beyond me, something I should no more be running my filthy hands over than a masterpiece painting or a perfectly white wall. He is Holy, and yet He lets me touch Him.

In a moment when this country is so torn apart – for reasons everyone knows without me mentioning – this seemed incredibly relevant to share. Everyone is in a blind panic, upset about a major change coming. They don’t know how it’s going to affect their lives, their home. But being unable to clearly see ahead is not license to panic. As Christians, we are told “do not worry” (Matthew 6:25). We are told “you do not know what a day may bring” (proverbs 27). God tells us, “I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you” (Jeremiah 29). We are told that “neither the present or the future…will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus”. So, as the Bible says, “Let not your hearts be troubled, and be ye not afraid”-Jesus (John 14).

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