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How We Will Survive This Fear-filled Time!

Jesus Laughing

Devotional Thought of the Day:

When the disciples had rowed for three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He kept coming closer to the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said, “I am Jesus! Don’t be afraid!” 21 The disciples wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly the boat reached the shore where they were headed. John 6:19-21 CEV

855    Spiritual childhood is not spiritual foolishness or softness; it is a sane and forceful way which, due to its difficult easiness, the soul must begin and then continue, led by the hand of God.

As I read this passage from John’s gospel this morning, I saw something I had never seen in the event. At first, I thought it might have been something that was a translation specific idea.  But I checked all the ones in my digital library, and they all chimed in, in fact, the word was even stronger in the others>

Instead of “suddenly”, the word was “immediately”

They got to where they were going so fast they didn’t even realize it was happening.

One moment they were terrified.

Scared out of their wits,

Panicked, unable to make sense of what was going on, overwhelmed by what their senses told them.

The next moment,  they pulled their boat up on the beach, got out, and life returned to normal.

In the presence of Jesus, everything became different.  God was with them, their fears were minimized. They were being led by the hand of God, and their faith was profoundly simple. He is there, that was enough.

This isn’t foolishness or weakness, as St Josemaria describes. It seems to easy to do, this idea of becoming childlike in our faith. So easy we often reject it, and the comfort it brings. Our logic tells us to find the solution, to search diligently out the truth from the thousands of self-proclaimed experts, to take action, even if we don’t know what to do.

In the back of our minds we hear the psalm, “Be still and know…” and we think to remind ourselves to make time for that, later.

We need to hear his voice, now.  We need to allow Him to comfort us, now.

Then, realizing He is guiding us, we can begin to walk with Him through the crisis – and soon arrive on the other side of it.  That is where our soul needs to begin, where our hearts have found rest, where our minds have put everything on pause

Soon we will be through this crisis, and it will seem like it happens as suddenly as it started. Led by Jesus, the author, and perfector of our lives  Look to Him, Let His love cast out the fear…

He is with You!  AMEN!

Escriva, Josemaria. The Way . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Why Do You Insist On Struggling Alone?

Devotional Thought fo the Day:
22  “The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” 23  Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.    Luke 9:22-24 (NLT)

26  And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.    Romans 8:26-28 (NLT)

252      Grant me, Jesus, the Cross with no Simon of Cyrene to help me. No, that’s not right; I need your grace, I need your help here as in everything. You must be my Simon of Cyrene. With you, my God, no trial can daunt me… But what if my Cross should consist in boredom or sadness? In that case I say to you, Lord, with You I would gladly be sad.  (1)

Occaisonally I hear the complaint, “no one knows what I am going through, and no one understands, no one cares.”  Sometimes I want to argue the point, confronting the opinion with that which proves it is not true.  Other times I simply want to say, “stop whining, trust in God, you know that is not true!”  And sometimes I want to walk away, tired of the complaints, which seem more an excuse for not living as one should.

But how do I walk away from myself?

Though I have heard such as a pastor and as a friend, I have heard it often in those internal arguments we have when we have that moment to think, when we have a moment where we are not recoiling from the constant stress that life provides. Even as I’ve shepherded others through those times, (some have even suggested I have a talent for it?) applying the same truth to my own life is difficult.

Part of me just wants to accept it, it’s part of taking up my cross, and I will get through it, eventually. After all, good Christians endure all things, right?

No.

We are not meant ot bear our burdens alone.  We are meant to share them, with God, and as our trust in God grows, with the people He’s called to be His own.

St Josemaria’s words that I read, that I need to inwardly digest this morning confront me in my struggles.They don’t dismiss the cross I’ve got to bear, but they remind me that a Christian doesn’t walk through such times alone.  And we certainly aren’t the heroes who bear the weight by our own strength.  We need to let Jesus be our Simon of Cyrene.   We have to let the Spirit intercede for us, even as we are too overwhelmed to know what to pray.

We have to know we walk with God, we walk in Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells within us.  We need to depend on a God who reveals Himself to be not just in a relationship, but to be the Relationship.

This is how we find ourselves to be able to rejoice in all things, and to not be anxious about anything.  In order to survive, it is not about bearing up with things bravely, it is about depending on Jesus, about living, not in view of that would crush us, but in view of the cross and the love revealed to us there.

For taking up the cross, our cross, is found in being united to His suffering and death, and His life. That is where our peace comes from.. a peace that doesn’t make sense.

A peace that is ours, as we let Jesus be our Simon, as we let Him be our Paraclete, our Comforter,  as we let HIm be our Lord and Savior!

AMEN!

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1060-1063). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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