Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Stay calm and trust the Lord”
One of the nicest compliments anyone ever gave me came from a team member on a mission trip to Haiti. Haiti is the poorest and most lawless country in the western hemisphere. There is little effective government and almost no law enforcement. Port-au-Prince is a dirty, noisy, crowded city with horrendous traffic jams and piles of rotting garbage everywhere. Armed gangs are a danger that must be avoided. Many stores have a shotgun-toting guard standing at the front door.
The missionary compound we were staying in was in the center of a crowded neighborhood. It was surrounded by 20-foot-high stone walls topped with broken glass embedded in the stone. Huge metal gates provided entry into the compound but they were always locked and always guarded. If we left the compound it was in a vehicle, as a group, and we were escorted by an armed guard.
One morning we were meeting for morning devotions. The night before there had been gunfire in the neighborhood directly outside the compound. As I had been doing all throughout the mission, I spoke to the team about the security situation. I assured them that our hosts had gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure our safety, and that we should just trust in the Lord and stay focused on the mission. We would be smart, I told them, and we would not take unnecessary risks, but beyond that we would just do our job and trust the Lord.
That’s when the compliment came. The team member said, “Jim, you’re like good medicine. You make people feel better.” I’m not very good at taking compliments and so her statement made me a little uncomfortable. But then I remembered what was actually happening. What she and the others were actually seeing and sensing wasn’t me, it was the Holy Spirit of God using me, as the leader of the group, to comfort and reassure His people. That sense of calmness and assurance comes to us from the Holy Spirit. He may speak it through a leader, but it’s the Spirit who reminds us that God is in control and that He has promised to watch over us and to care for us. The Spirit reminds us of God’s past faithfulness to us in other dicey situations, and He speaks peace into our hearts.
As I think back on that situation, I realize that the only thing I did that day that was of any worth was that I allowed the Spirit of God to speak to His people through me. He will do that through you too. If you turn to Him, the Spirit within you will enable you to remain calm and unflustered in difficult situations. You then, can have a calming influence on others. But remember, it’s not you. It’s not you who is “the good medicine that makes people feel better”, it’s the Holy Spirit within you. He’s simply dispensing the medicine through you.
In difficult situations stay calm, trust the Lord, and let Him speak words of peace and comfort through you to others.