I was just thinking… I have always been a ponderer. My mind is never at rest. On occasion, I think that is not a bad thing. Then again, when my insomnia sets in, pondering becomes a difficulty — I just can’t turn it off!
So, I am pondering again. I have long enjoyed reading quotations, brief writings and proverbs from people from generations long ago. I am also intrigued by the wisdom, the commentary — the pondering if you please — of people from this present generation.
Likely, no one ever really pondered life — with its mountains and valleys days of delight and of difficulty — like King Solomon. There is a reason he is referred to as the wisest man to live on this earth.
The Book of Proverbs
I have spent much time recently pondering how difficult life is in this year of 2020. It is certainly like no other year I have experienced in my three-quarters of a century on this earth. I assure you that there is no intent on my part for this brief article to be a political statement. I will leave that to others. What I want to share is that which reminds the reader of what he or she already knows — or should know.
Dealing with difficulty hinges on one’s ability to know the will of God and to strive to yield to that will and to remain in it. Foolishness and rebellion are running rampant in our society. That is not a difficulty that stems from a political position. It is from a sin position. It comes from a lack of knowledge of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Solomon wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Prov. 1:7). In light of the difficulties facing our nation today, I urge the reader to ponder that truth.
Dealing with Perverseness
How do we cope in a country that has seemingly abandoned truth and justice? How do citizens deal with perverseness that is evidenced in rebellion, anarchy and hatred of law and order? Simple answer: seek wisdom!
“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways” (Prov. 2:12-15).
Trust When Times are Difficult
My wife, Karen’s, favorite verse is one that applies when we attempt to deal with difficulty. This includes the issues of COVID-19, protests, rioting, anarchy, murders in the streets and hatred toward people who are different from us. Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).
As I think about these times in which we live, I realize it is evident that what was said 2,000 years ago about the hearts and attitudes of the last days, we are now witnessing in our country in 2020. If there has ever been a time when we need to stop trying to figure things out and simply trust God who has promised to never forsake us, that time is now.
As I ponder our present time’s problems, if I were prone to such, it would be easy to be pessimistic. But in the 66 years I have been a child of the King, one lesson learned has been most beneficial — prayer calms the spirit and encourages the heart.
For decades, I have urged believers to pray when facing life’s difficulties. Some inevitably would reply: “That just doesn’t work. Life is so complicated and mere words don’t help.” Well, ponder this — Solomon said, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov. 8:10). In other words, don’t lean on your own understanding of plans — trust in the Lord with all your heart. He has a purpose for the path you are traveling.
Solomon gave these great words of instruction: “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (Prov. 5:20-27).
A Nation Adrift
The storms on the sea of life can be devastating. Right now, they are having an effect on the United States of America. We are a nation adrift, and we have misplaced our moral compass. While some deny it, I know it to be a fact — Christians are facing persecution right here in our own country. Indeed, we are facing perilous times. The storms on life’s sea are raging as never before in our nation.
Still, we must remember that we have a Savior who can face the troubled sea and say, “Peace! Be still!” We who are believers can trust Him in every difficult time.
That’s what I was just thinking!