Today we have Rebekah Taylor sharing with us. Rebekah lives a genuine life worth learning from. Full of integrity. She carries her Heavenly Father’s heart for the vulnerable and those struggling.
Rebekah spoke at Come Closer in February, and below is a small taste of what she said. This is so worth your time.
So stop, grab a cuppa, take a pause and listen to Rebekah …
I hate wind.
Not the embarrassing kind; the kind children find hilarious and adults pretend didn’t happen!
No, I mean the stormy weather kind of wind. The sort that whips up both leaves and school kids into a frenzy, while homes creak and groan under the assault.
Storm Doris hit the UK earlier this year. It was anticipated to be so strong that Doris’ name filled the news headlines with its imminent arrival. From the moment I saw the warnings on the weather app I could feel my whole body tense. It meant sleepless nights listening to the house being battered, worrying that neither our old house nor our DIY skills were up to facing such attacks. It meant anxious driving around town, nervously watching trees bend and sway next to the roads, praying that the children would be safe at school that day. And then my delaying of the return home, not sure what I’d find when I got there and mentally panicking about how we’d deal with the damage… even though nothing had happened yet.
Of course, the morning after Doris’ arrival, the sky cleared and the wind died down. A sense of calm filled both the air and my tensed muscles. The storm had left as easily as it had arrived, the house was still standing, we were all safe and my fears had gone. Yes, there were still the signs of what had swept through our town – upturned bins, scattered branches and TV news reminders of other parts of the country hit harder, but the danger had passed and life carried on.
We all face a lot of fear every day in our lives. The fear of loneliness, ill health, or of the safety of our children, drives many of our choices day to day. Many of us these days have huge levels of anxiety and stress, perhaps partly due to the fear of failure or the fear of missing out. And can someone please tell me what we’re supposed to eat? Once upon a time it was fat we were all avoiding, then it was carbs, now it’s sugar we’ve become scared of. The world around us holds little comfort. We watch events unfold surrounded by suspicion and fear. Headline editors and political leaders alike often try to use fear to their advantage in their campaigns. We worry about what the future holds or how the world is changing. When the news is full of allegations of secret meetings and leaked intelligence, we doubt the safety of our nations in the hands of those called to lead, whilst mistrusting the way history is being recorded.
In this so called “post-truth era” we’re left with too much information that we don’t know whether to trust or not. We don’t know who to believe, where to turn, what to follow, who to trust.
Isaiah 40:8 says:
That is where you turn. That is what you rely on. The Word of God doesn’t alter so it can win more votes. It doesn’t change its story to get with the times, to fit in, to protect its image. It speaks truth and hope and freedom, which has survived generations and is still as relevant and life giving today as it has always been.
When the world lacks integrity we can rely on the unchanging nature of God, and find comfort, purpose, and challenges in His Word.
Isn’t that comforting? To have something permanent and constant in this uncertain world. Fashions, trends and politics come and go, but the faithful promises of God stand firm. Through Jesus, God offers us peace and joy, that whatever happens He will be with us and will bring us through. This is not some phoney election promise that life will be easy and everything wonderful. The Bible doesn’t pretend that once you’re a Christian you’ll never have any trouble or difficult times. But by focusing on God, by spending time with Him and knowing His Word we might have a joy that goes deeper than day-to-day happiness, and a hope that carries us through the dark times.
Psalm 94: 12-13 in the Message version says:
I love the sound of a circle of quiet in this busy life. And yet that is what is on offer to us every single day. Every time we sit with God, we pray or read the Bible; we are shifting our focus from our current situation or the state of the world, to God. We’re filling our minds and our hearts with the truth and hope of God.
Even if only for a moment, we can replace the thought full of worry, with what is TRUE. Just a few minutes each day can let God start chipping away at the darkness to bring His light. He only needs faith as small as a mustard seed to do great things and to grow deeper in relationship with Him.
Seeking God first in all our troubles doesn’t allow them to become all consuming. The darkness cannot completely take over if we invite His truth and light to break in, even for only a short time. I’m not diminishing the problems we face; some of us are walking through very real, very painful times. But to turn your eyes upon Jesus, to lean on Him and not rely on ourselves or our own strength, that invites Him to walk right up close next to us, to drive out the darkness.
When fear and anxiety creep in we can call on the Lord there and then, and declare out loud the promises of God. We can find verses that encourage us to fill our minds in those moments. For example
Isaiah 41:10 says:
The God who created heaven and earth, who can do anything, is with you, he has declared himself your God, he is promising he is always there. He WILL do these things. It’s not an empty promise or a conditional offer that if you pass this test He might get involved.
Yes there will be storms in life. And when they pass, the damage may still be seen. There might be a time of repair and restoration that needs to follow which won’t always be easy. The scars may remain for a long time. But like the wise man’s house built on solid rock, we can stand firm on the foundations of God’s Word. We will be rocked and buffeted in these days but there will be a sense of calm and of peace that returns as life leads on.
We can hold on to the assurance that the victory is already won and the dark days will not last, as we rely on the Bible to speak truth into our lives and draw us close to God. We need not fear.
Isaiah 12:2 says: