— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
Do you feel sometimes already tired before the day even starts? Endless snoozing of the alarm clock in the hope that just another five minutes will make the difference, but didn’t? Before getting up thoughts already whirling through your head about all the things which need to be done today, some small, some overwhelmingly big or awkward? And then there are the draining memories of yesterday of failure, of unresolved quarrel with people close to our heart, perhaps of guilt and worries about tomorrow depleting whatever is left.
Where can we find strength what can give us the energy to face the challenges of life, the sadness of loss and the loss of hope?
Having close friends, experiencing the support of a happy marriage, the joyful sight of healthy children growing up happily, success at work, victories over different challenges, wealth or at least resources sufficient to supply for daily life, and especially having a purpose which gives life meaning and direction are great empowering experiences. I thank God for all of them as I have experienced the joy-giving strength of all of them many days in my life.
BUT, but why do I still wake up certain mornings overwhelmed, without strength, worried?
It seems that none of the above are everlasting, guaranteed sources of strength but rather require a deeper source that lasts even through droughts, hold up after a night of devastating flooding, in sickness, despite poverty, and can reach deep enough into a depressed heart, confused minds, and restore hope after personal rejection, deprivation and in affliction. COVID19 has not only taken many lives but it seems that many suffering from what has been termed LongCOVID and are experiencing the draining of all the strength they were running on beforehand. Being chronically exhausted and tired, this experience demonstrates how fragile our own strength is.
So, where does our strength come from?
and one chapter later:
David prays in the psalms:
David, a powerful man who had experienced many ups and downs of life including the distrust of his king, the loss of his best friend in battle and the betrayal and death of his own son, so that he and his men wept aloud until they had even no strength left to weep. (1 Sam 30:4)
Paul was beaten up by all kind of people, imprisoned for his message, ship wrecked and finally facing death in Rome says:
None of them had an easy life or were convinced that the faith in their God would provide an easy life. No, they knew that life is hard, full of disappointments, struggles and hurt, but they had experienced the power of His presence in their lives. It was “God with us”, Emmanuel, the presence of the great “I am”, the creator of heaven and earth, the endless love of the ever forgiving Father in heaven, which gave them the strength to get up and continue. Jesus said
There will be burden in our lives but we don’t need to carry them alone. We can rely on His shoulders. As For King and Country sing:
“…I’ll find my comfort here
‘Cause I know that You are near…
You are my rest, my rescue…
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless…”
Lord, enter our lives with your loving strength, be present and help us trust even in the valleys of life that…
Your presence, Lord, is our refuge, fortress, the source of our hope and joy and dignity. Remind us every morning to come into your presence through prayer and in fellowship. Let us remind each other of the honor, being accepted in the eyes of God, forgiven, restored so that we can experience together the victory of salvation.