December 5, Day Seven of Week One – The Way of Peace though Hope
Luke 24: 45 – 53 “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”
Song: “You Raise Me Up”
Reflection: “When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary. When troubles come and my heart burdened be. Then I am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit awhile with me.” Do we? When troubles come do we first try the human fix-it approach, operating on our own, relying on our limited wisdom to solve a problem? How can we learn to let our first response to be still until God comes to us? Is it impatience or a short faith that takes us to busyness first instead of quiet contemplation and prayer? I found myself in the hospital for 10 days while I was writing this. Pain had overtaken my existence. My days and nights revolved around managing the pain and results of the pain medication. The second night I was there, I startled awake to an unfamiliar room and found myself filled with anxiety, a highly unusual state for me. As I laid there in the dark, I puzzled through what could be the cause. For an hour, I turned it over and over, as the anxiety hovered. Was it the medication, the unknown diagnosis or treatment, the simple fact this illness was interfering with a lot of life? Exhausted, a blinding flash of the obvious occurred. This wasn’t mine to solve. As I leaned back onto a slim hospital pillow, in a darkened room that glowed with medical equipment numbers, I silenced my thoughts, and started, “Hey, God.”
Action: Consider the weary and burdened times you’ve experienced in the past. How did you react? Write these down. Was God a part of your reactions? Then consider how you could react to future troubled times with a stronger faith. Write these down as well. What steps do you need to take to build your faith so that God is on speed dial in your heart? Yep, you’re writing that down as well. All will be well.
Dear God, thank you for never leaving our side, even when we forget you’re there. Help us to make you our first response in all things, for we know we are strong when we are on your shoulders. Give us the wisdom to ask for your help and quiet hearts to listen for your whispers so you can raise us up. Clothe us in the humility that helps us remember we can’t do this alone. Listening, listening, listening, Amen.