perfect-stormThere are days, times, sometimes long seasons we might describe as producing “The press of life.”

Unanswered prayers, long nights of anxiety or sorrow, fear or negative anticipation, circumstances that seem to intentionally assemble to create a “perfect storm” of trials and troubles threaten to overwhelm and defeat us. When these are coupled with silence from heaven, our resolve and our faith, our very confidence in God is tested and tried: We are shaken.

And then, heaping guilt onto the growing mountain of contrariness, we sometimes are aware that we have failed those tests. Miserably.

Mark records (ch 4) Jesus speaking about the good seed of the word of God being scattered among thorns “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

“The cares of this world,” that’s what leaps out to many of us. Imagine what those cares would have been in the first Century world. Without television, internet, cell phones, without all the modern means of the transport of communications, those cares might seem miniscule in comparison with our world.

We get caught up by the threats of Ebola and ISIS and the looming specter of a worldwide economic collapse. We’re told that the poles are melting while we brace for colder and more hostile winters than we’ve known. Republicans warn us of Democrats while Democrats warn us of evil Republican agendas. Our borders are open to the entry of who knows who carrying who knows what. Food prices escalate, fuel prices do the same. The cares of this world compete against and threaten to silence the still, small voice of the promises of God in His word and by His Spirit.

The Cares of This World initiate The Press of Life as round and round and round we run, getting nowhere while looking for peace while listening to tumult.

Yet there is a quiet place, there is a place of certain peace; indeed, a peace that passes all understanding. That place is “in Christ” and the avenue that leads there is called “Grace.”

If the cares of this world shout, demanding your full attention, take just a moment, thank God for His grace and allow His peace to fill you, to overflow you, to inundate your heart and your soul. I cannot promise that your circumstances will change; you may well find yourself still surrounded by stormy and shark filled seas, but the ship of grace will hold you and the Captain of that ship will keep you in perfect peace as your mind is settled and focused upon Him. Isaiah knew it;“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”

The old song says it well and simply, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”