Can anything calm the nation's civil unrest? Well...there is this one thing.
"Who is your God?"
A guy asked me this once, while my dad slept in St. John's Surgical ICU after having emergency brain surgery. It was my 26th birthday. And, to celebrate, my dad had a slow-bleed aneurysm.
We do birthdays big in my family.
I was, understandably, upset. But calm. It's a sleight of hand trick I do with my emotions:
See the emotion? Perfectly normal emotion, yes? Now...watch closely. Don't take your eyes off it. Poof! It's gone. Where did the emotion go?
The guy, someone I was casually dating until that exact moment, decided this was a great time to instruct me. I mean, why not? I was at leisure. Just hanging out listening to my digestive juices feed on my stomach lining.
Because I wasn't weathering this emergency with zen-like faith, because I feared for the future, he believed it was a good time to question my love for my father and for God.
I decided to get some air. So I went outside and set a limo on fire.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
People are upset, apparently. You can tell by all the genital costumes. The current national climate, if nothing else, is doing wonders for the poster board business. There's nothing quite like an angry, violent mob to make you thankful your parents spanked you as a child.
I get that people are anxious. I think some are even genuinely so. But, like all mob mentalities, some are just there for the feeling of mobraderie. Others because they're paid. A few because they like playing in the street. And some because they're pyros.
For those truly afraid, I'm sorry. Fear sucks. Whether founded or unfounded, it's a lousy emotion.
And, since you're afraid and this is the perfect time to ask, "Who is your God?"
He is Who He says He is.
The question comes off jerky, right? I thought so, too.
The crazy thing about jerks, though, is sometimes they put their foot in their mouth and say things that bring comfort instead of their intentioned rebuke.
Poor jerks. Can't catch a break.
When that guy asked me that question oh so long ago, I began to hear the "who" as a homonym (** a word that sounds the same but has a different meaning.**) Not "Who is your God? Is it your father?" but "Who is your God? What's He like?"
What is His character, heart, personality, and what has He promised He will do? If I could remind myself WHO God is, wouldn't that help me face what I feared?
So, in that moment of terrible unrest, while my father underwent yet another emergency brain surgery only a few days later, I asked God to remind me Who He is. And His answer helped me then, has helped me since, and I hope helps you now:
"Be strong and courageous for I will never leave you. I will never forsake you (Deut. 31:6). I watch over you and I never sleep, never slumber (Psalm 121:4). I never take my eyes off you. I hear every cry of your heart (Psalm 34:15). I am here now, holding your hand, and I'll help you always (Isaiah 41:13). Calm your troubled heart and trust me (Romans 15:13). I will give you peace even in the midst of your fear (Philippians 4:7). And, wherever you go, I will be with you (Joshua 1:9)."
I hope this helps. May you find peace even while crazed people burn trash in the street.