Stand By Me
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid”
- Fredrick Beuchner
At Bible Study last week, the worship leader talked about her children. The eleven-year-old was picking on the six year old. Usually, the fourteen and sixteen-year-old pick on the eleven-year-old.
“I told my six-year-old whenever his eleven-year-old brother started to bother him, or he felt picked on—just come and stand by me.”
He began a question…“Do you want me to say…”
She interrupted. “I don’t want you to say anything. Just come and stand by me.”
I loved that picture of her protection and authority protecting her smallest, the weakest. Wisely, she knew tattling on the older brother wouldn’t help the youngest. It might be a temporary solution, but could also bring the label of “snitch” to contend with…one more reason for a bully to pick on the runt!
Yesterday I listened to two distressed single parents relay stories of harassment each of their sons had endured at their schools. One mom cried as we prayed for her son, she felt so powerless to help him.
Have you ever felt you were stuck in a time warp at jobs where high-school jealousies, pettiness, power-plays, and gossip pervade your sense of peace?
As adults, it feels backward when childhood pecking order problems present themselves in “mature“ settings. We feel threatened.
Emotionally and mentally we need to stand by God. We may have brandy-bunch roots where dimmed AA family labels of “clown, hero, ghost or scapegoat” dangle like an old worn tag from yesteryear at gatherings. We learn to stand by God for composure.
I will set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalms 16:8 NIV) We know God is invisible, and so did the Psalmist, the young isolated David. He talks about that very real presence—the very real place he found peace—where God met and counseled him, much like Moses who alone…approached the thick darkness where God was. (Deuteronomy 20:21)
Is there a way we can stand by God in the midst of sometimes intangible, loaded problems we face? Are there God truths to focus on when people are playing mental games of deception around us?
Can we find a quiet break room at work or an outdoor patio? Is there a moment in our day to connect with our Comforter? A brief time to plant ourselves in the middle of an unseen rose garden surrounded with the fragrance of God’s Words and nourish ourselves? A place His thoughts and comfort infuse our mind, protect our spirit and filter the smog of our surroundings—so we can return refreshed and ready to refresh others?
We must choose our places to focus mentally when we cannot physically remove ourselves. We focus on Jesus who is present at the job where we feel like the runt, where there are too many bosses and demands. Or, at a school where that one bully squints his eyes beckoning others to join him. Or, entering the family funny farm where mind or mouth triggers await at any given moment ready to trap our serenity and sanity? So many life situations require us to mentally stand by Jesus. What do we do?
Moses by faith left Egypt…not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. (Heb 11:27) The time may come to leave or change circumstances. But until that happens, mentally we stand by God. We listen for His voice allowing Him to guide us. We choose not to fear our worldly cohorts—instead, to trust God deal with unruly people who adversely affect us.