It’s 2:30 a.m. [on Sabbath morning]. I’ve been praying for the New York Conference family. This morning, many are waking up and have their minds so clouded with concern that they may miss out on the gift God has given them of the Sabbath. (Since it’s 2:30 in the morning, maybe I’m one of them!)
Some are concerned about how they’re going to provide for their family after being laid off. Some are worried because they have contracted the coronavirus and are not sure how things will turn out. Will I survive? they ask. What about my spouse and my children? Could I have passed it to them? Some are not thinking of themselves today but of their parents, or grandparents. What if they get sick? Some have a furrowed brow because they own a business and it’s not just their family they’re thinking of, but the families of their employees. How can we make payroll? How long can this go on before I have to make some really hard decisions? There are still some who have not gotten sick or lost their jobs, but the fear of something like that happening to them is keeping them up at night!
Today, fear is robbing many in our family of their Sabbath blessing. I woke up this morning with Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) in my head, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You.”
Fear, anxiety, and depression may all feel like a giant wave, or wall, that is pressing down on you today. But I want to remind you of two things that I hope will help you.
First, today is the Sabbath! The day God commanded us to take time to rest; not just from work, but from worry. We are reminded today of creation. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (don’t ask me how, I can’t explain it) spoke everything into existence. God created matter with words! That is my Father, your Father, our Father. You can rest knowing that your Father has you in the palm of His hands. You don’t have answers; you don’t need them. Rest in your Father’s love. This is one way to honor the commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”—Exodus 20:8.
Second, the Bible tells us that if we want peace, we can have it. Peace comes when we stop focusing on our problems and, instead, focus on our God. (See Isaiah 26:3) What I like about the text in Isaiah is that it states, “perfect peace,” not just “peace.” Complete peace, perfect peace, even in the storms of life, is available to those who choose to trust and focus on God, and the Sabbath is a perfect time to focus on God. So join your family in virtual church, sing hymns loudly with conviction, even if no one else but God and His angels can hear.
I invite you to take God’s hand today. Place your cares at His feet. Keep your mind focused on Him. Jehovah is not only worthy of your praise, He is worthy of your trust!
—Miguel Crespo, president, New York Conference