Feel like you’re being “held under”? Need a big gulp of fresh air? With all the tragedy taking place in the Church--crimes, cover-ups and accusations-- it can feel as if we are drowning in bad news. But Jesus states, “...you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) And so I’m fasting, praying and clinging to this promise!
In my day to day life, when I get tempted to be discouraged by these stormy seas, this is how I’m dealing with it: I’m taking healthy, double-lung-full gulps of the good.
What does that mean? It means glancing at God through out my day and thanking Him for the tiny joys He throws my way--because if I’m not careful-- the bad and the ugly can really suck me under and negate the good and the beautiful in my life.
These things will never make the headlines, but it’s my short list of happy in days full of woe:
-My sweet, faithful husband of 33 years (OK-we could stop right there! That alone is enough!) took the time to read aloud to me something side-splittingly funny from the New Yorker the other night before bed-- and we laughed ourselves silly.
-My twelve year old daughter knew every word to a praise song that she sang softly to herself in the back seat of the car as we drove home late from a glorious summer outing.
-My 87 year old mother has a BOYFRIEND! And is still loving life.
-My crazy dog Gaston does not need back surgery...he just had a pulled muscle from too much fun at the park.
-Jesus gives me a bouquet of flowers from my garden every morning filled with butterflies* and honey bees.
-And --I know a great many wonderful priests who love God with all of their hearts, and by His grace, serve Him faithfully day in and day out every day of their lives.
What things can you thank God for? The little, everyday, even silly things? The Good things from His hand that in a world of devastatingly bad news...cushion the blows?
Stop and thank God for at least three blessings He has given to you this week. Maybe it’s a friend, or a co-worker who made you smile. Or a super speedy checker at the grocery store when you were running late. Or the grace to get out of bed...when all you wanted to do was pull the covers over your head and hide.
These amazing tiny kisses from God make life sweet, even when the bitter realities of sin, betrayal and death try to crowd in and take over. Thankfulness elbows them right back into place.
Try to share some GOOD news this week and be thankful for the small blessings in life, it will be like pure oxygen for yourself and for others. And then see how far the ripple effect of your words of faith, hope and love travel. My bet is that they reach all the way to heaven.
In spite of all ...God is Good and still in control.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9
Help! I feel I am drowning in bad news, not only in the world around me but even in the Church! Help me cling to You, my Oxygen, and be mindful of all of the Good things you bring to me each and everyday. Help me to know the things I can change and the things that only You can make right. Prompt me when to speak up and when to pray and watch You work. Through it all, never let me lose sight of Your goodness.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*Photo taken by Daisy Overmyer in our back garden of the beloved Monarch God sent our way!