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Troubling Times

This psalm begins as a prayer for deliverance from the wicked and moves on to all the help and love and blessing God pours out upon His afflicted. There is no question when we are going through trying times, we want to lash out at what is happening that is out of our control. I believe God is faithful and answers prayers many times in ways I may not understand whether my foot is slipping or not.

What we focus on gains the strength and the object of our focus determines our level of peace. If we allow negative anticipation to cause us to forget God’s strong deliverance, we do not see the new mercies that we receive daily. “Faith believes that God will plant the seeds of hope for tomorrow in the garden of our hearts today.” (Janet Weaver Smith) Hope nourishes our faith and enables us to anticipate the next ‘good thing.’ We are encouraged by the words of James 1:17, “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.”

As we really listen to what we are telling ourselves, it will give us a chance to catch lies and half-truths that have a powerful effect on our emotions. A single negative thought can be amplified because its effects reverberate through our feelings and behaviors. The emotions we feel provide important clues as to the type of thought we had. The more conscious and open-minded we become, the more likely we are to invite in and benefit from the power of grace. Also recognizing that coincidences might be a form of Divine Communication, alerts us to see them everywhere.

As caretakers, self-care is even more necessary during troubling times. Being overextended emotionally and having very few enjoyable activities, can lead to depression. It is significant to do an internal audit – What are my energy drainers? What builds me up, that I am good at, that give me energy? Ask yourself regularly for the best ways to care for yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. What does that look like for me? Self-acceptance is a journey. Too often we are living in the past and that saps our energy. Seize hold of the grace that is available today. It is free, abundant and yours if you want it.

Johannes Metz reminds us, “You shall lovingly accept the humanity entrusted to you. You shall accept yourself.” it is vital to pause and be still if we are to live at a deeper level and have awareness of what stirs within us. “It is this Jesus who breaks through our locked doors of fear, extends His forgiveness and peace and invites us to go on, not alone, but with Him at our side.” (Gandhi) Can we thank the Lord for the blessings hidden in difficult days and pray for the grace to see with new eyes?

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