Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing!
The faithful have vanished from the earth!
(Psalm 12:1, NLT)
When you look around, do you feel as if the godly are fast disappearing? Do you feel that the faithful have vanished from the earth? If you watch the news, do you lament, the righteous are a dwindling minority? Do you wonder if it can get any worse?
I wonder, though, is the state of humanity any different than it ever has been? Might every generation before us , like the Psalmist, also had the same lament? If there had been been 24/7/365 news 100 years ago, 500 years ago, or even 2000 years ago, would it have seemed as if God-fearing people were in short supply. After all, the Bible tells of murder occurring within the very first family. And, as Scripture documents, it only grew worse. Atrocities fill the pages of history. Wars, invasions, genocide, child sacrifice, slavery, oppression, human trafficking, the list goes on. Surely, in the midst of these horrific moments, cries of the suffering rose to heaven and those who loved God must have felt the godly had disappeared and the faithful vanished from the earth. The same suffering continues on around the world today and cries still rise to heaven just as they did in ages past.
But when we only see the bad, focus only on the the ugly, and zero in on the brutal, we miss the beauty, the joy, the love that has existed and still exists today. What might make us look around and miss God’s people being about God’s work?
I’m reading the book Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson with some incredible ladies from our Moms in Prayer International state team and area coordinators. Each Friday we join together on a conference call to discuss our week of reading. In chapter eleven: First-Class Noticer, the author made the statement, “We don’t see the world as it is; we see the world as we are.” I found the comment intriguing and it caused some introspection.
If I’m only noticing the negative in the world around me, is it because there really is only negative, or might it be a reflection of my heart? How can I be so discontent in my fairly comfortable life while some live in what others would consider squaller and yet still see the incredible beauty and hope around them? How might a women dedicated to work with the poorest of poor be able to say “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love,” instead of complaining about the circumstances? How can I shift the way I see the world around me?
I first must begin with prayer and ask the Lord for my heart to be flooded with His light (Ephesians 1:18), I must also give thanks to the Lord, remembering He is good in the midst of it all and His love endures forever, regardless of the circumstances (Psalm 107:1), and then I need to look around and see where the Lord is working and who it is He has working. For indeed, there are many who love the Lord and every day are being about His work, whether reaching out to a neighbor or serving overseas in war torn countries. The Lord has raised up many and truly, the faithful are not disappearing.
Father, teach me to say as the Psalmist also said “I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living,” and give me eyes to see Your people and Your work they are about every day.
Grace & Peace.