Chariots of fire. Chariots of Faith.
The school year of 2019 – 2020 will forever be etched in our memories. There has never been a year like this (and hopefully, never will be another.) It may not seem like it but it is a reminder of God’s sovereignty. Do you think that God is surprised? Do you? We begin to ask our questions why but that is another story. All of our plans, ALL of them have been disrupted. It not only puts our life in disarray but maybe even our practical theology. We are good for making plans and then adding a prayer – if it’s God’s will. Our world has been turned upside down – but not God’s world. There are no easy answers. And the platitudes of “trusting God” don’t seem to do away with all of the anxiety. The anxiety is real, the circumstances are real, the challenges are real. And as spiritual as it sounds that God will get us through it takes tremendous effort not to look at the bills, the job and everything else and wonder “How in the world are you going to do this God?” (Oh, for a mustard seed of faith.) For those who run schools (and for those who teach in those schools) you wonder how do we make it through April? How do we make it through May? How will we make it through the summer? And is there going to be a fall and a new school year? There are no easy answers and wishful thinking doesn’t quiet the deep anxieties. So, what do we have left? (The same thing we had before we started. The only thing we’ve ever had – God.) Sometimes that doesn’t seem to be much consolation. Try having that consolation without God. Let’s make the list of rhetorical questions (for which you already know the answer.) Does God know? Does God love me? Does God have a plan? Is God in control? Does God know the beginning from the end? Does God care for me? How many more questions do we need to ask for which you already know the answer? And if you need to, you can go through the list day after day and listen to your answers – Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! And Yes! And surprisingly, in the Yeses will come answers and whispers of God’s presence. Will the anxieties and the challenges be gone? No. But covering them and overwhelming the difficulties will be “chariots of fire.” 2 Kings 6:15-17 tells the story of the king of Aram who had sent an army to capture Elisha. “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city, ‘Oh, my lord, what shall we do?’ the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Oh Lord, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Your chariots of fire are present. Make them your chariots of faith.