Every Thought Captive

Stability in Uncertain Times

...and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.

Isaiah 33:6

On another glorious Monday morning in May, taking all my thoughts captive is no easy accomplishment. Cool sunny weather restores my gardening passion, and this passion prompts me to prune, weed, transplant, and invest in new plants. Yet, I have other responsibilities, chores, and other cares, not to mention listening to the news of wars, natural disasters, and the prognostication that the world will end May 21.

It may be time to do a little preaching of the gospel to myself?

If Christ were actually sitting at my kitchen table, waiting to chat, I might not have gotten myself in such an emotional state this morning—swinging from excited to overwhelmed. Yet, He was (Col. 1:27). And so was my Bible (Ps.119).

Rereading the text for Sunday’s sermon, Acts 2:29–47, remembering Pastor Mark’s exhortation to see how deep my faith in Christ is, and reviewing my notes, I see how easily I put aside the power God has for me through His Holy Spirit and His Word, especially when I feel I can handle what’s coming. After all, I have been following Christ over three decades.

No! That is not what the pastor said! He urged me to check for disconnects!

How can I become disconnected from God, who promised never to leave or forsake me? Circumstances and self-centeredness can shake me, weakening my grip.

Last night the lights on the walkway up to the house were off. My husband Doug checked the connection and discovered it had been knocked loose; he firmly reconnected it. Remembering Sunday’s sermon, worship, communion, and fellowship felt like God’s hand reconnecting my wobbly connection to Him.

My twenty-first century circumstances are not harder than those faced by first century Christians. Corruption, conflict, and catastrophes threatened them as they do me; personal peace and affluence tempted them as surely as they entice me. And their humble and compassionate witness confronted the Roman Empire’s debauchery (Rom. 1:18–32). But my ancestors in the faith lived in sure connection to the power of the Holy Spirit and with each other (Acts 2:42–49). That connection was as surely the stability of their times as He is the stability of my times—happy and sad, a wealth of wisdom, salvation and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is His treasure (Isa. 33:6).

And now to enjoy this good day, praying:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

—Reinhold Niebuhr


Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.  

Proverbs 3:5–6

About the Author

Barb Smith