As we look out over the landscape of what has become a mere skeleton of daily life I am prone to wonder if we have come to grasp the significance of it all? Have we been able to refocus our life onto what really matters? It isn’t as easy as you think. We are so conditioned to running from here to there and everywhere that stopping for even a moment, let alone a month or more, feels uncomfortable. Are we in the valley or on the mountaintop? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

For some of us the world around us has come to a screeching halt. For others, like health care workers, the days are moving by with more pain and suffering than they can sometimes stand. And in between lie many of us, not sure what we can do or should do to make a difference.

Like a race day each team has their own objective. There are some teams scrambling to get the car together to make the show. Some are tweaking their car to find that little extra to move them up the ladder. Other sit on top of the speed chart knowing the work they put in was worth the effort. Some are content to take it all in and let the chips fall where they may. There are as many agendas on race day as there are teams in the pits. Who comes out on the mountaintop is a matter of perspective.

I am encouraged by the sounds I hear out my window. I hear the birds singing, I see the sun rising and I welcome the hope of a new day. Spring is a special time of the year. Hope comes with every sunrise. The mountain of doubt can be overcome with faith. I am reminded of the words to a song by Matt Maher and Elle Limebear that reminds me of where my faith comes from

Joy still comes in the morning
Hope still walks with the hurting
If you’re still alive and breathing
Praise the Lord
Don’t stop dancing and dreaming
There’s still Good News worth repeating
So lift your head and keep singing
Praise the Lord

This past weekend we celebrated Palm Sunday. Jesus entered Jerusalem to take the throne, to usher in the kingdom of David. He was thought to be a conquering king and he was, but not the way the people expected. You see we think we know what we need when in fact what is truly important escapes us at times. Jesus knew why he had come. He knew what was in store. He understood the pain and suffering he would endure. He also know the salvation he would bring. The hope he would provide. The forgiveness, restoration and renewal His sacrifice would accomplish. He knew the valley He would walk through to attain the mountaintop.

Philippians 2:6-11: NLT; Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
   he humbled himself in obedience to God
   and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

We are in the midst of Holy Week, a remembrance of the events that led to the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. What began as a triumphant entry into Jerusalem by Jesus was followed by events fueled by jealousy and hate and ended with an empty tomb shows us that in the space of a week we can go from high to low and back to high again. We need to have the faith that God is able to overcome even death.

I encourage you to read the passages in the Gospels that tell the story. From His entrance, to the clearing of the temple, to the plot to betray him. The Last Supper and His prayer in the garden. His arrest and trial. Pilate washing his hands of the decision and turning him over to the Jewish leaders to convict him. To the cross and the darkest five hours that Friday. Only to be set aside on Sunday morning when the tomb was empty, Jesus wasn’t there, He lives!

As we reflect on this I wonder where our circumstances find us, can we see the mountaintop through the oppression of isolation and quarantine? Will we reach out to God for strength to endure the suffering that is being faced by those infected and those serving them? Some of us have the easier road to walk than others but I am reminded of a battle the Israelites fought long ago. To be victorious Moses had to keep his arms raised. He soon got tired and let his arms down. When he did the tide turned and the Israelites would lose ground. Those close to Moses recognized this and lifted his arms up. With his arms raised the battle was won.

We stand in a similar place. The front line workers need our support and encouragement. I ask that we lift them up to God in prayer asking for the strength, courage and wisdom to make it through. I ask that we lift them up and ask for comfort and mercy to keep on doing what only they can do. I ask that we pray for their protection and safety. We can be their prayer warriors during this time. Let us not sit idly by and wonder how the battle is going. Instead let us pray each day, each time their efforts cross our heart, and each moment the battle rages. Most of us are not on the front line but we can all lift them up, hold them up, walk alongside and support them.

This is a time when we remember what was done for us, for the forgiveness of our sin, for the restoration of our relationship with God. Let us not grow weary of doing what is good, what is right, what honors God. I encourage you to speak to God on the behalf of those on the front lines. Let Him know their wellbeing is important to you. Through our prayers they will receive the strength to continue the battle until the victory is won.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.