This text was shared with me recently by one of my dear friends who knew I was tired and feeling a bit down about how things were going, feeling the pressure of the stress and anxiety around me from folk who were working hard through this pandemic and suddenly feeling that there was no end in sight, in fact things were getting more intense every day with additional screens, mask and procedures to be followed at a time when things seemed to be improving and when certainly the number of cases in our hospitals had fallen. She knew that I needed support and encouragement and a quiet reminder that there is strength within all of us, the strength that comes from knowing our Lord and Saviour and the love that he has for us through all the trials that life throws at us.
She also reminded me that in order to support others we all need to find some time for ourselves, time to spend with God, time to spend reflecting, time to spend with our families and friends, time we find it so hard to set aside when life is busy. We find so many excuses for not spending time on ourselves, for ourselves so that we can refresh our souls and bodies. We become so bowed down with work, worries and stress that we forget the one who is there walking alongside us, offering love and support, we forget to ask for his help but when we are reminded what a blessing it is. Those thoughts reminded me of the Psalm Barbara finished her reflection on Sunday with:
12 Their hearts were bowed down with hard labour;
they fell down, with no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress;
14 he brought them out of darkness and gloom,
and broke their bonds asunder.
15 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind. Amen
So let us always remember that we are not alone, that God is with us and provides us with the strength within to cope with the challenges without and that his steadfast love is present with us.
To all those of you who are tired and fed-up, just remember that message of hope contained in the psalm – God will save us from our distress and bring us out of this darkness and gloom and help us to break free of our chains. God’s love is eternal and is peace and love are always with us. Amen