A while back I wrote a post that I very much wanted to get off my chest. However, because I was rushing and not paying attention, I deleted it by accident. I still had the subject line “Who am I?” But since then, this post content has changed.
It also has been a while since I’ve written. Lately, my mind has been busy and I just can’t get myself to settle to write.
Whether it’s making sure home life is right and somewhat in order for my Husband and my Mom or tending to opportunities I want to be a part of. For example, I want to do this formation or that formation, listen to this podcast, or read this book. But also, because my mind has been overloaded with news.
For whatever reason, I’ve been home alone these past two days to just “think”. I used to have this quite a bit before my mom moved in with us. I now appreciate it so much more, but I wouldn’t give up taking care of my mom to have it all again. These opportunities that come from time to time are embraced.
So what is it? Why do I feel a bit anxious, a bit emotionally weak? Pretty sure I am not the only one. Social media has so many thoughts about the current world. Sometimes you see one breaking down in tears and another is baking a cake.
But, with the news continually showing what is happening in one country recovering from natural disaster – hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, there is also added threat to this all from a dictator who is pushing his agenda to cause more suffering.
I don’t work, so I don’t have an 8 hour part of my day where I could invest my thoughts into something. So these last two days, I have been praying while doing whatever needs to be taken care of. Praying for those who died, who are waiting to be rescued, who are suffering, grieving, worrying, fearing.
It’s so strange the paradox that is going on. Here in Arizona, these days have been beautiful. Such ease – being able to drink my morning coffee in comfort. Grocery shop with many options. Take a shower. Lay comfortably in my bed at night. Read a book. It feels both guilty and very grateful at the same time.
How are we to keep joy when so much around seems grim?
You know what came to mind? I think of Saint Paul singing in prison.
She began to follow Paul and us, shouting, “These people are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.”She did this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned, and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Then it came out at that moment.
When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the public square before the local authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These people are Jews and are disturbing our city and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us Romans to adopt or practice.” The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.
Deliverance from Prison. About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened…
This passage always blows my mind. Paul didn’t fear what was about to happen to him. He continued to stand up for belief in Jesus and even after they tortured him, he still carried on giving thanks and glorifying God. Making sure all around him witnessed his true example.
Who am I these days? It’s been somewhat challenging with family and friends around me these past weeks, where I suited up the Armor of God to help them in their weaknesses even though I too have felt challenged. Reminding them to pray, not to lose hope, keep reading the scriptures, get to Church.
Who do you say that I AM? Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Whether time is near for Jesus to return, whether there will be much more suffering ahead, I hope our faith becomes stronger and love pours out from our souls. To know Jesus has conquered the world. To continue living each day directing our lives to Him.
Lord God, I want only for the appearance of my face and the depth of my soul to show your presence in my life. Make me an instrument of your peace and use me for your will during these trying days and for what’s ahead so that you find us ready. +++
3 thoughts on “Who am I?”
About keeping joy when so much around seems grim – that bit from Acts points toward good advice, I think.
I don’t ‘feel’ joy all that often, for various reasons: and don’t expect that. I do, however, try to remember what I call ‘the big picture.’ That seems to be what Paul and Silas were doing: remembering God and what we can expect, and acting on that memory.
About thinking? That seems like a good idea, too. 🙂
Oh gee, there is so much you said here that I can relate to right now. I am also filled with trepidation about what might be ahead in our future. I think you are right that we just have to “keep singing”. While on pilgrimage two years ago, we had the opportunity to see where it is believed that Paul and Silas were imprisoned. You can walk right up and peer into this little cell, and I remember recalling this image from scripture of Paul sitting there, singing away. I like to sing when I am sad, or troubled, as well as when I am happy and joyful. This evening I was reading a book called Real Music by Anthony Esolen about the history of many of the hymns in our church. Fascinating! And in the Chapter about hymns of consolation, I was so touched by “I Know Not What the Future Hath,” by the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier: “I know not what the future hath, of marvel or surprise, assured alone that life and death God’s mercy underlies. And if my heart and flesh are weak, to bear an untried pain, the bruised reed He will not break, but strengthen and sustain.” I am certainly feeling like the bruised reed most days. Praying for peace – and strength – for all of us in these troubled times.
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Appreciate this!! My mind was a bit all over the place! For this period of time I felt overloaded with news and the solitude. But even so, hope remained and your response gives me it as well too. Thank you!!!