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Posts Tagged ‘#2021’

Anyone else feeling that the start of 2021 to be discouraging?

Anyone else shaking their head?

Anyone else feeling defeated already?

Anyone else feeling that the noise, the chatter of everyone around them, is so loud all you can do is be quiet?

I had to pull myself together recently, as I felt that the darkness in our world was overtaking me, pulling me down into a pit of despair.

I don’t think I am alone in that despair.

What are we to do we do when we encounter despair, disappointment, sin and evil?

There are those who must declare, shout out, announce their every thought for all the world to hear.

I am not one of those people.

I need to feel the sorrow, the loss, the tragedy. I need to take it in and turn it over, and over and over again.

I need to weep in the sadness of in inhumanity of humanity. Allowing that sadness to become part of me.

I need to pray … groaning to God, who I acknowledge must ache far more than I. It is only in conversation with Him that comfort and answers are found.

In Augustine’s writings in The Confessions, he pleads, “Bend down to my soul’s ear, O Lord; open it, and tell my soul: I am your salvation.”

Augustine’s concern is not his own silence, but his perceived silence of God. He begs for God to take the Q-tips to his own soul’s ears (something no doctor would advise) and clean them out so that he might hear the message that God seems to be hiding from him. Augustine is looking for what we humans all long for at one time or another …

a message in the stars,

a rainbow in the sky,

an audible voice from his God.

He demands to hear from God, what his soul is already fully aware of …

that he’s got this

Whatever this is …

And so, while I listen for the voice of God, while I am quiet so that I can hear his voice in my soul …

I am quiet, but not blind.

“Be silent in the LORD’s presence and wait patiently for him.”
Psalm 37:7 

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Lord, thank you for a new day, but especially for a new year.

We come to you today, the start of new year, because you are our God, our Creator and Redeemer. There is no other like you. You were and are and will ever be … and we bow humbly to you.

We are tired, we are all tired … but you know that.

What a year our world has walked through. The new normal has affected every area of our lives from our jobs, to shopping, to school, to recreation, to socialization, to hygiene to even church. Change is always wearying, but these changes … God, it’s kind of gotten to us at times. Yet, when we look at the suffering of others, who have experienced mourning, who have experienced natural disasters, who have experienced warfare during this pandemic, we feel selfish … our new normal is nothing compared to those challenges. Yet … you know. You designed that our minds and bodies and souls work together, that we humans be together … and we thank-you for offering yourself for our rest.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

We are discouraged, we have all been discouraged … but you know that.

Lord, it has seemed that bad news has been the theme of the year. Whether it was racial injustices or riots, politics, fires, natural disasters, homeless refuges around the world and famines … we are discouraged. Our social connections have decreased and when we looked to social media for connection, anger and fear have made social media less about connection and more about division. We simply need a little good news.

” … the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1)

We are longing for loved ones, we have all missed loved ones … but you know that.

Loneliness is pandemic in our world, God. Out of fear of and protection from Covid, we have been keeping our distance from others. Our children have not been having play dates, our teens have missed going to events with peers, our young adults are missing socializing, our elders … Lord, so many are so very isolated, so very alone. We ask that this new year might be one of reunions with loved ones … we implore you to make a way out of this lonely desert.

” … do not fear (loneliness), for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

We need you … we often don’t realize or do anything about it … but you know that too.

God, we need you. If anything has taught us this in our life, this pandemic year of new normal has been our motivator. When we are tired, you give us rest. When we are discouraged, you have given us good news. When we are lonely, we only need to seek and you are there. As the doors to our church services have closed for in person worship, we have encountered the challenge of choosing to connect online, in podcasts. As all that we know of worship services has been stripped away is your plan that we come back to YOU, rather than to the practises that have been our habit, perhaps these practices have even become the focus of our worship, rather than the specs with which to see you?

“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

We leave these heart cries with you, trusting you to gather our tears. We trust you with our sorrows and what you will allow in and through them.

You are our God and we will serve only you.

* With our first breath we cry out … crying out is a most human response. Lament is a crying out to God. It is a declaration to Him of our sorrow, discomfort, sadness. It is being real before the God Almighty, announcing to him what he already knows … it is a step of faith, an indicator of intimacy and trust. Trust to share our pain and to leave it in his holy hands. To lament is to acknowledge God for who he is, it is to cry out our distress, then it is to leave our tears, our heartaches, our sorrows with Him … an act of full trust and confidence. It is to cast our cares, our worries, concerns and anxieties on Him … for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

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