Nearly four months of performing my role as leader for the state of West Virginia’s IFA prayer team, I experienced a moment of great difficulty. Having returned from the Asbury revival three days prior to our regularly scheduled call I was still riding the revival high of being present in such a tremendous move of God. Then entering the call, others began reporting of their churches experiencing a special move of God. Great elation at the good news of teenagers and young adults lining the alter in a time of prayer and repentance. Then almost instantly I had to switch gears and discuss and pray for this horrible event having taken place in East Palestine Ohio.
The train derailment and chemical spill was not a new event. What was new, was some of the disturbing stories and very real possibilities that this may have been a planned event. If not planned, certainly nefarious or questionable on the sequence of events. Having family in the Ohio area and the very real possibility that this chemical spill and explosion could affect millions of people along the Ohio River including Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, and possibly even further south.
Something began to rise inside of me, one of those emotions that, if not checked, could become displeasing in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. Anger, resentment and possibly even hostility towards those responsible, or those in the position of helping, yet vacant from their responsibility.
With these emotions I headed to prayer and the scriptures. There I found Psalms 37, the title in my study Bible read, “The Heritage of the righteous and the calamity of the wicked”. This chapter began to speak to every part of the emotions I was experiencing and my wonderful Father spoke deep into my spirit that which I am to do.
The first three words says it all, “DO NOT FRET!” In fact, this phrase is repeated three times in this Psalms chapter. I am thinking David was wanting to solidify a point. Fretting is not ok. To fret; being anxious, worried or concerned over those things we have no control over could fall under the category of SIN. So immediately, we are clearly instructed, do not fret.
That being said, what IS our responsibility? You don’t have to go far to get solid advice on what our responsibility is. “Trust in the Lord, and do good” (vs 3). Regardless of the actions of others, or inactions. We are told to put our trust in Almighty God. And do good with our time and efforts. “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him” (vs 5) Give it all to HIM. That is all our thoughts, concerns, everything is given to God. “And he shall bring it to pass”.
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (vs 7) I am sure I am not alone when I admit I am not always patient. But look at that first part, “Rest in Him”. This is really an amazing place to be. Since I have already committed it to him, acknowledging this is out of my control, the best thing to do is rest. This level of trust and peace is truly a place of inspiration. Resting in the fact that my God, the creator of all things, the One who knows all things, past, present and future, there is really nothing more for me to do than rest in Him.
“Cease from anger and forsake wrath.” vs 8 It seems to me the author knows, full well, human nature. We have all been in the position of being done wrong; a great hurt or devastation having crashed into our life, or even taken the life of a loved one. This place where, in our mind, justice needs to be given and our minds are wrought with ideas of how to right a horrible wrong.
Holding on to anger and wrath “it only causes harm.” (vs 8) Nothing good can come from allowing anger and wrath to brew in our heart and mind. Bad decisions are made if these emotions are entertained as they are ruled by the devil, not our Heavenly Father. He instructs us to trust Him, commit our ways to Him and rest in Him.
After all this great instruction the chapter continues with what is our reward for trusting, committing and resting in Him, “they shall inherit the earth.” (vs 9) Not just once but a total of 4 more times this phrase is repeated “the meek shall inherit the earth” vs 11; “those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth” vs 22; “the righteous shall inherit the land” vs 29; “and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land” vs 34; with an additional promise tucked in the middle “and their inheritance shall be FOREVER!” vs 18.
You see, Our God, Our Heavenly Father, desires that we give Him all our worries and concerns. We trust in Him because we know He has seen the end of the story. His plan will be the final end game which places us, HIS CHILDREN as rulers along side of Him on this earth. So each day, even in the face of great pain and suffering, for yourself or a people or land that you love dearly. Rest assured, His love is deeper, His care is more intimate, His ability much more than any of us could imagine. Our role is to pray, believe, trust, commit and rest.
Then we hold onto one more promise tucked away in this beautiful chapter of Psalms, “For the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His saints, they are preserved forever.” vs 28 Our God loves justice and is the final judge to all things. Nothing slips past His eye or His attention. I need not put one ounce of effort in trying to figure a way to ensure justice is received outside of my time in prayer. Yes, as an Intercessor I know my prayers are valuable in forwarding God's plan as we search His heart in these very difficult, heart wrenching situations.
My responsibility? I trust, I commit, I rest in HIM. I teach others through my trust, my commitment, my ability to rest. I exalt my Lord through my trust, my full commitment to Him and then resting in the peace and assurance HE IS LORD!