We have a strong city;
God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
He humbles those who dwell on high,
he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
and casts it down to the dust.
Feet trample it down –
the feet of the oppressed,
the footsteps of the poor.
This just keeps on happening, doesn’t it? Lofty cities are laid low.
I have to admit, I kind of long for the day when the feet of the oppressed walk freely over the rubble the high flyers have made of the world on their way to God’s city. I am not sure at all that God will give me my vengeance (or that my true self truly cares about it). It doesn’t matter, anyway, because right now the rubble is piling on the oppressed and I am wondering if I have any equipment at all to dig them out. There is not a lot of time to care about how to get even with who did this to us!!
Parker Palmer was on Bill Moyer’s Journal (old men saying wise things) this week. One of our friends told Gwen to record it. He said his personal depression was mirrored in and mirroring the depression of our financial system. It made me kind of alarmed. I know a lot of depressed and distressed people right now, and the number seems to be growing. Plus, so many bad things happened to the church this week – sexual immorality is uncovered, financial ineptitude discovered, a former lease goes to collection, weak people raise alarm (as they do when things are generally bad – they soak up and channel the feelings), people lose jobs, people hole up and act scared. I really began to think we are under general attack.
When Isaiah’s city was being brought low, God gave him a vision of the city whose walls are God’s salvation. I also began to think that a wonderful change must be about to happen. I’m not so old yet, but I am old enough to know that supposedly bad times (like your personal depression) are often the beginnings of the next great time. Now if we can just keep our minds on what God (who makes something out of nothing) is going to do, so we can have some peace in the midst of this mess!
6 thoughts on “Finding some peace”
Wondering what you mean by “weak people raise alarm”?
I mean the common circumstance of the church that Paul often writes about. Two examples:
Romans 15:1 “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his or her neighbor for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” (Psalm 69:92)
Tim. 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, (etc)… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over the weak-willed, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” (Some editing for inclusion)
Okay, I get that there are weak people, but I don’t get what you mean when you say it they “raise alarm.” what kind of alarm? I assume you don’t mean that every “alarm” that is being raised is raised by someone who is “weak.” I am guessing a weak person should be given some compassion, but their “alarm” is not really something that necessarily needs to be listened to?
May I say, “Of course not.” Nor is that what Paul is implying. “Weak” people (and my post is not about weak people) are the usual alarm system for “something is wrong.” Like I said — they channel the wrongness and are usually the first to get the wrongness applied to them. The context of my post was discerning the attack of evil — the “weak” are often a good barometer of that and often an unwitting channel. I was writing about people I had already heard from — I hope I listened to them with compassion.
Hmmm…. finding peace in the middle of an attack. That’s definitely something I can’t do on my own strength.
I’m working on learning how to “access” God’s strength in those times. or maybe I can be living out of God’s strength in such a way that my peace from God will automatically carry me through the attacks.
I think it’s difficult for most of us to immediately say, I’m frightened or distressed, let me read the Bible. We usually roll through our rolodex of personal experience or the experience of our peers (friends/family). It’s usually a secondary notion or a urge that we ignore for a while, to read the Bible or pray earnestly for peace and believe that we’ve received it. We (myself included) must condition ourselves to remember, that the more we give ear to fear and uncertainty, the less we avail ourselves to hear the “still, small voice” of God’s Holy Spirit. The bible tells us what to do in times of trouble, “He who hides himself in the secret place of the most high shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” When God let his shadow pass before Moses, it was His glory. If we hide ourselves in him when scary things happen… seek the refuge of his word, search for wisdom in Godly counsel, we will be able to ride out the storms of life in the Peace, Surety and Comfort He so lovingly provides and become a first hand witness of is glory.