Two simple words have been wandering and ambling through my mind of late. They come to the forefront of my prayers, especially when praying for friends who are struggling or hurting. What words you might ask?
Though simple, they are filled with meaning and hope. They rest on the assurance and confidence of a God who hears, sees and works for the good of those who love Him.
We all know what happened last year. 2020 was a challenge for many, but even in the midst of that struggle there were still blessings. For me, some things got stripped away, and what moved into those places were the gifts of more time with family, deeper relationships with old and new friends, but most importantly, a stronger reliance on the Lord as the foundations of what I thought were important were shattered.
And so, throughout 2020, the words “even now” began to filter into my prayers. I would ask the Lord to move in someone’s life when all hope seemed lost, “Even now, Lord, even now.” Because it is a prayer standing on the faith of Who He is and not on what circumstances say, or on how I felt in that moment.
They are words that remind me of the God of the Bible, the Miracle-Worker, Promise-Keeper, Light in the darkness Who goes before His people. Moses told Joshua, “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8). Moses is telling Joshua that the same God who split the Red Sea, Who brought manna down from Heaven, Who freed the people, Who led Israel in fire and cloud, was going to cross over the Jordan before the Israelites and guide their steps.
Moses’s words were a reminder to Joshua of just Who was going before them. That even now the Lord was at work.
Do you need to be reminded of that today? A fresh breath to recall that the same God who worked His wonders in the Bible is still working miracles today? That even now, His hands move across our time.
Perhaps you are like me and throughout this last year you have had your moments. There were many tears, moments of anguish, frustration, and so much anger too. In fact, 2020 has felt a bit like a pendulum swinging back and forth between hurt and joy, and just recently I discovered a song that depicts these feelings so well.
I’m lost in the waves that crush me
They bring discovery where darkness hides
Just over the ridge in front of you
Another mountain that you’ll have to climb
I see the light but never find the surface
I don’t know if I can swim no more
White knuckles and wild horses
One day we’ll wash up on mercy’s shore
One day we’ll wash up on mercy’s shore
(Mercy’s Shore, NEEDTOBREATHE)
For me, these lyrics illustrate how some of last year felt. How it was hard and challenging at times to keep going, to keep choosing to be joyful (which I have failed at many times), and to keep pressing on when I’m tired.
But then the Word in its mighty power steps in and tells me how I really should be standing through trials. It reminds me that choosing joy should be my natural inclination because I have the Lord at my helm and even now He is in control.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3: 22-26)
Remember the lyrics to Waymaker? Those words “Even when I don’t see it You’re working, even when I don’t feel it You’re working, You never stop, You never stop working” (Osinachi Okoro). We have declared that song many times throughout 2020, how about now we move forward knowing that even now the Lord is working—He is with us, He is our joy, He is our hope, and we have nothing to fear.
Even now, do not be discouraged. Even now, He is the same Miracle-Worker of the Bible. Even now, His mercy never fails.
And even now, in 2021, He goes before us and with us, so that even now, we shall not fear.
And that my friends, is something that even now deserves a hearty “Amen!”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
And with that, I wish you a very Happy New Year!