Running on Fumes

I can only imagine how Mary felt as she rode that donkey to Bethlehem. Hugely pregnant with a child she never planned to carry. Traveling with a husband she had never slept with. Now she was basically alone giving birth in a strange place without her mother and other women who knew about birthing babies. No baby shower to honor her and provide for the baby’s needs. No one to gently advise her on mothering and wifely duties. She was a woman without, yet she had all she needed. God was with her.

This year has been that type of year for many of us. We’ve lived alone in our own homes. Not allowed to freely live our lives. We wear masks in public. We’re advised to follow the guidelines, yet we see so many of our leaders freely breaking those guidelines when it suits their whims. We’re told we need to lockdown, yet the lockdown is pulling some people and businesses under without hope for survival.

In some states, churches aren’t allowed to meet in person. But you bet that riots welcome any and all unmasked activists with open arms. Indoor dining is banned in some states, unless you’re in a special class of people. Vaccines are being administered, but no one is satisfied with the priority of recipients. Life is turning out to be hard for so many of us who are accustomed to comfort and mild luxury. We have taken freedom and spontaneity for granted.

I’ve said it before, and apparently, I’m saying it again. This has been a tough year. For many reasons. For many people. In many ways.

For most of the pandemic, I’ve been handling things pretty well. Except for the fact that I’m working from home, my life really hasn’t changed. There have been times during the past nine months when I’ve realized I’m happiest when I’m at home. So working from home has been a great relief for me. My commute is non-existent. I haven’t seen the workplace drama queen since early March. I can use flex time each week. Life sometimes feels pretty good.

But then reality hits. Work demands take all the joy out of working from home. Unorganized and lazy coworkers make the job a lot harder than it should be. Management makes changes without vetting them and expects everyone to fall in line. Workers are expected to do more with less. And the list goes on.


You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:3-4


People are on edge this year. For different reasons. Those who lost their jobs are fearful of what lies ahead. Those who are essential workers are running on fumes. And still more is expected.

 I am one of those essential workers. And for that I am grateful. I really am. No. I don’t work in healthcare, but I work with healthcare companies. And my work is never ending. Especially at this time of year. 

I so don’t want to complain. But today, enough is enough. 

I find I am easily annoyed at things I can normally brush off. I find anger bubbling when there’s no need. I find I need to slow my thoughts to find the true reason for my outbursts. I find I’m probably not the easiest to live with in these uncertain times.

I want to be kinder. I want to be patient. I want to hold close those I’m close to. And I find it’s a choice. I must search deep within to learn the reason I am so on edge. The findings aren’t comfortable, but growth never is. And I realize that comfort isn’t a necessity of life. But oh. How I wish it was. And I’m learning that comfort may be a thing of the past. Can I live with that?

I know that my true comfort is in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is with me in all my trials and troubles. He is with me when life doesn’t seem kind or fair. He is the great I Am. He is my protector and provider. He is with me always. Even to the ends of the earth.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. Psalms 121:8

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Peace in Tough Times

These days are tough times for many people.  Some are afraid to leave their homes.  Others are now homeschooling their kids. People have lost their jobs.  Numbers are going up. Numbers are going down. Patience is running thin. Some are wondering when this craziness will ever end.

Someone in my family was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery is being scheduled. Another family member has family members who were impacted by the explosion in Beirut. They are safe for the moment, but daily provisions are uncertain. Another family member is recovering from major surgery and doing well with her daily physical therapy.  And she’s seven years old.

There are people who are coping with this pandemic crisis by drinking daily. When that wasn’t a normal thing for them. They’re trying to cope with the unexpected changes in life. Because life isn’t going so well this year.

There are businesses that had great plans for the future but now find themselves in bankruptcy.  There are families who find they can no longer meet their monthly payments.  There are people who qualified for unemployment benefits but haven’t received a check. 

Oh. These are troubled times. 

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston

There is a presidential election in less than three months.  The results could send this country and the world into even more chaos. Regardless of who wins. It’s a wait and see kind of year. Everyone is holding their breath and can’t seem to exhale.


And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15


These are indeed troubled times. 

Sports seasons have been canceled. School semesters have moved online. Church services are streaming live. High school seniors feel their senior year has been stolen from them.

People are searching like they have never searched before. But what are they looking for?

Peace. Freedom. Calm. Structure. Contentment. Understanding. Patience. Relief. Normal.

People want their lives to be normal again. But what does that even look like anymore? Are we looking at a new normal that we just keep fighting?

Have you found what you’re looking for yet? Are you looking in the right place? Do you that know peace can be found?

Did you know that peace is a gift from God? And he is the source of all peace.

What does the peace that comes from Christ even look like? What does that mean?

Imagine if we lived in a world where peace reigned instead of chaos and confusion. Imagine the life we could have. I have to ask myself. Does peace rule every one of my relationships? Do I think peace before striking the first blow of revenge? Or slinging the first word of accusation and judgment? Does the thought of peace guide my conversations and actions? Does peace rule my emotions?

Oh, troubled soul. Peace is a command that God speaks to us. We are called to live in peace with each other. Peace can only be commonplace if it comes from Christ. Nothing else gives lasting peace. Nothing. If we can’t find peace in these troubled days, then we’re looking for peace in all the wrong places.

Because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Philippians 4:7

Yes. These are troubled times. But peace is possible in the midst of the storm. Spend time with God. Actually, open the Bible and read God’s word. Let it saturate your heart and mind. Trust God. Don’t just say you trust God. Actually let go of your need to control everything and let God do his job. Oh. It isn’t easy. But it is possible. God will give peace in difficult times. He may not do everything the way we want, but His will and ways are perfect. So let’s trust him. And dare to see what happens in our hearts. Even when life isn’t perfect.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Peace in the Storm

In times of uncertainty, it’s easy to doubt God. To wonder what he’s doing. To not understand why he would allow such things to happen. Wondering is ok. Trust is important. God’s word is truth. He is faithful. His promises will always stand. God does not lie.

We don’t like to be inconvenienced. We want to do what we want to do. Sometimes that just can’t and won’t happen. Life will go on. Life may change. But as long as we have breath, God is and will always be good.

God’s promises are true. We can trust him. We may not see his promises fulfilled in our lifetime, but God does not lie. He will do as he says.

Here is a reminder of what God’s Word says. 

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. John 14:27

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. Hebrews 13:5

God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge. Psalm 61:2-3

He will cover you with his wings when you need refuge from the storm. Psalm 91:4

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This alone I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:1-4


If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:13


This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Exodus 14:14

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. Psalm 57:1

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20

Thank you for your faithfulness, Father. In the middle of trouble. In the storms of uncertainty. Lord, you’re the one thing we count on. Everyday your faithfulness carries us through.

Brian Doerksen

Stand Lest You Fall

Peter and John had healed a man in front of the temple.  As they spoke to a crowd of people who had gathered, they were confronted by the temple leaders and guards about their teachings.  Peter and John were arrested and put in jail overnight.

The leaders could see the man who had been healed. I wonder if they recognized him as the lame man who had sat outside the temple for years. Had they ever given him money? Or had they ignored him as they walked past? They couldn’t deny that this was the same man. And here he was made whole. He was standing and walking around. He was praising God. They couldn’t deny that a miracle had happened. And they were furious.

The next morning, the council of all the rulers, elders and teachers of religious law met to discuss what to do with Peter and John.  The high priest and some of his relatives were involved in the meeting.  These were important people.  Or so they thought. 

I can only imagine the conversations of these high and mighty men the night before as they plotted their strategy to take down these two disciples.  They were furious that Peter and John were teaching that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead.  But did they know that 5,000 people believed the story?  Did they know that the news of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection was spreading like wildfire?  What were they really afraid of here?

By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?

When confronted about their teachings, Peter and John didn’t hold back.   They were commanded to stop preaching about Jesus, the one who had been killed for claiming to be God Almighty.  Instead of cowering and backing down, they stood and boldly spoke the truth. 

The leaders tried bullying the two men, but they stood their ground.  Their faith was strong, and their commitment was unwavering.  They were fearless.


The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. Psalms 29:11


I wonder.  If I was confronted about speaking the truth of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection to a group of people, what would I do?  Would I cower?  Would I change my story?  Would I cover up the truth?  Would I give in and walk away?  Would I stand up for my beliefs in the midst of possible persecution? Would I boldly speak the truth?  What would I do?

These two men were just ordinary men.  They had no special training in the Scriptures.  What they did have was an intimate knowledge and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  They knew this Jesus.  They had walked with him.  They had talked with him.  They had eaten with him.  They had served the crowds miraculous food when there was no food.  They had seen Jesus at his best and at his worst.  They witnessed his arrest. Peter witnessed his trial, trying to blend in with the crowd. There was that time that he wasn’t willing to boldly stand for Jesus. There was a time right before Jesus was nailed to the cross that Peter had denied knowing him.  Not once, but three times.  All in the matter of a few short hours.  But he repented of his ways and became an outspoken teacher of Scriptural truths. 

So when he was asked to never speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again, what do you think he said?  Of course, he boldly took a stand for truth. His life had been changed. He was a forgiven man. He would not be quiet about his faith and trust in God.

Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? –Peter

Would I be so bold?  Would I be willing to risk my life in order to stand for Jesus? 

Peter and John didn’t know that they would later pay the price for continuing to share the Gospel.  Peter was crucified upside down.  John was sent to live in exile on an island, because he preached about God. While he was alone, he wrote one of the most profound books of the Bible. You can’t tell me that even in the midst of persecution, God isn’t present. You can’t tell me that God isn’t with us in our suffering. God is with us even in the most difficult, trying times of life.

What would I be willing to give up in order that others might hear the truth?  Would I be willing to risk everything so that others could enjoy eternal life?  Would I be willing to stand when falling to peer pressure would be an easier path to follow? Am I willing to stand?