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Collapse or Support and Foundation

Who of us, particularly as caretakers, has not experienced storms in our lives and the

sense that this could be our undoing? In the darkness, and harshness of life, our faith is put to

the test. The storms of life can be frightening and suffering, and hardship can give way to real

loss. To strengthen this faith, we need a strong foundation and frequent encounters with the

Lord, who is always with us, speaking to us, and showing us how to navigate each situation.

Life circumstances can harden our hearts. We can become increasingly resentful and

afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.

Choose wisely. When anxious moments come and waiting seems all we can do, look for signs of

God’s love. They are everywhere. For me recently on the day I moved from a house I shared

with my husband for twenty-nine years, I found a twig in the shape of a resurrected cross. I

sensed God saying, with the loss of my husband, as hard as this grief is, there are resurrection

moments ahead.

Every encounter with the Lord strengthens our zeal and can deepen our faith a little bit

more. We may experience Him as reviving us if we have become discouraged or indifferent and

can trust we will receive help to let go of unforgiveness or impatience. Since we are in the

Advent Season, let us reflect on the storms Mary and Joseph encountered – an unplanned

pregnancy, an uncomfortable journey to Bethlehem, a hurried journey to Egypt and I do not

think Jesus was easy to raise, particularly when they could not find Him.

Stories in the Bible do not offer much detail, but that doesn’t mean those situations

were simple to navigate or that trust in God came easily. Mary and Joseph were human like us

and probably faced a host of questions, emotions and fears just as we do. Because the Lord was

already their firm foundation, they listened to His word, trusted that He knew what was best

for them and did what He was asking. They were most familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures, and

I can see them praying, Isaiah 12:2, “God indeed is my Savior; I am confident and unafraid. My

strength and my courage is the Lord and He has been my Savior.” Most likely they were afraid

and followed through anyway, which mirrors our lives, do it afraid.

Prayer reflection – Put yourself in Mary and Joseph’s shoes and imagine what they must

have felt or thought. Then think of your own storm experience now. How can you listen, trust,

and obey? How can you make your foundation in Christ even stronger than it is now? Only as

we turn to God, can we see beyond appearances and remember God’s faithfulness.

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