Today I’m really struggling. Emotions are raw and near the surface. This morning, early, on the beach, in prayer, I felt the weight of some unnamed dread and greyness. I chose Joy instead.
I did. Jesus is Joy.
And here I am, ten to two in the afternoon, and I’m choosing Joy all over again. And I may need to choose Joy all over again, again, again, later.
We need to be honest, us human beings. Sometimes we are side-swiped by sorrow, engulfed. And Christians are … guess what ? Human.
I know that there are millions upon millions of people out there who live alone and are susceptible to the introspection and the sense of remoteness that solitude brings. In normal life we can dilute those feelings by social interaction. We have friends who will, somehow, feed the bits of us that our own minds can’t quite reach. Friends who understand in part how we are feeling and who we are.
But now, like so many, I am in four walls. Isolated. Like so many I’ve barely spoken to anyone today, just one brief conversation on a pavement, and the day stretching ahead into the long night, and more of the same tomorrow. And Tuesday. A brief trip to the shop on Wednesday. There’s such a temptation to email and face-time and phone… but I have no right to drag others down, and even if I wanted to, I don’t have the words… there is no soul-mate to understand and accept, wordless, that I am shaken today…… no one to see.
That’s the bad news. Where’s the good news? Do you think I’m going to get all chirpy now and Patience-Strong-ish and say brave and wonderful things?
How about this: “In this life you will have trouble.”
Jesus said that. The next bit is a tad more hopeful…. but we need to understand the context to get the full meaning. First of all Jesus said “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone.”
He was talking about his own death, the persecution of his followers, their grief and loss. He was talking about bereavement, distress, we could even say he was talking about covid. He was anticipating that there would be days when all seemed grim and bleak. He didn’t expect life for his followers to be forever jolly and cheerful and mindlessly smiling. There would be grief and he knew it.
He doesn’t expect me to be capering all over the beach in my quiet time, in a state of eternal bliss. Well, not every day. He knows I’m no good at cartwheels, for a start.
Maybe he saw their expressions, their disappointment, because in his empathy he reached out again and said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. “
So, Jesus told us that there would be trouble in our lives in order that in the middle of that trouble we would know we could also have peace.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So, I can be fed-up. So can you. If that’s how you feel today, don’t be ashamed. Don’t be proud either (she said hastily) because it isn’t good, this sad corner. It’s not where anyone wants to dwell for long, so today has become a bit messy as I keep turning back to God, waiting to be rescued, knowing that he’s there, here, with me. And he is the one who rescues.
Today I need to reach out for help, and I need to explore this some more: is this sadness and loneliness from God? Is it brought into my life to turn me to him? If so, if today as I turn and turn again, seeking him, I learn more about my desperate dependance on him, will that have been a lesson worth learning?
Who do I write this blog for? I write it for me. I talk to me. When no one else can get in my head and understand me, I talk to my God and myself. If you are going through a hard time, talk to God, and listen, listen, for his love.
I discovered Psalm 62:1 last week and I’ve read and re-read it every day.
I stand silently to listen for the one I love,
waiting as long as it takes for the Lord to rescue me.
For God alone has become my Saviour.
I wondered why it meant so much to me. Now I know. I was being prepared for today. Our wonderful God. Every day , whatever the day, whatever the day, we have enough. We lack nothing. Manna.
Listen, bloggies, if you’re struggling, ‘take heart’! You don’t have to be inspiring and amazing and wonderful. You just have to be you. The you God loves and knows, and understands.