Usually my mood follows the weather. Gray skies – gloomy feelings – despairing outlook. Sunny skies – sunny disposition – hopeful outlook. The world looks safer, saner, in sunlight than it does when storm clouds surround. But today I am conflicted. I confess – even though sunlight pours through every window, I feel surrounded by sadness, sorrow and uncertainty, enveloping and threatening to overwhelm me like dark storm clouds which move in and seem to settle indefinitely. I definitely identify with David, so I do what he did in his dark days,
“I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me. Save me, O Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.” (Psalm 120:1-2)
“In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:5-9)
These feelings of darkness and doom are feelings I cannot so easily shake off. They are a garment I want to discard, a burden I want to lay down – but I am surrounded by distressing, even fearful news from every side, no matter where I turn. I find myself asking and answering along with David,
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)
Today, even though I feel surrounded by bad news, as I said, everywhere I turn, I have to ask myself, did my turning include turning to God? Or have I looked to everyone but God? Am I looking for answers, looking for peace, looking for clarity, looking for hope, looking for truth, looking for good news in all the wrong places? Could be.
“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. He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:1-4)
It makes a difference who or what I turn my eyes to, who or what I focus on. I have the assurance that my Heavenly Father is not asleep through nor indifferent to any of my sad, dark days. He knows, that like everyone else around me, I am simply longing to hear some good news for a change. Then I realize, I have been given good news! And the best kind of good news, at that. This is news that doesn’t change, news that can’t be taken away. Isaiah 52:7-10 talks about this wonderful news saying,
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord will lay bare His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.”
Wow! This is good news! peace, good tidings, shouting for joy, bursting into song, comfort, redemption, seeing God’s salvation . . . no wonder the feet of the messengers were thought beautiful in Isaiah’s day! Good news was welcomed and rejoiced over by the people receiving it. Strange today, it’s bad news that seems to sell, seems to get people’s attention. The worse the news, the bigger the headline. But it is the good news that each soul longs to hear and to receive and to rejoice over.
No amount of temporal bad news in my days and in my years can cover up the good news that God’s word proclaims to me. The good news has a way of breaking through the darkness of lies, false tidings and even true tales of man’s atrocities, to shine a light that guides us to God’s truth, which shows us the way out of our despairing, downcast state of being. God’s good news says to us,
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
That is good news. And as I said, I need good news, especially when I feel bombarded with bad news, even sad, scary news twenty-four seven. I will lift up my eyes and I will call to the Lord.
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears. . . . I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. . . . The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:6, 2-3)
yes, the feet of those who bring and the mouths of those who proclaim good news are beautiful! I will look to God to hear good news,
“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ ” (Romans 10:12-13)
sincerely, Grace Day