Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lent, Day Two: God is Our Companion in Every Situation

"Nothing is all creation can separate us from God's love in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39)

Are you a risk taker?  Are you a spiritual risk taker?  Do you take risks on the side of those who seek justice, need mercy, desire kindness?  Do you seek to trust God with all of your life?

The apostle Paul was a risk taker who knew what it meant to trust God with his life.  He was beaten, imprisoned, persecuted, and faced with death as he struggled to let others in his world know about Jesus Christ.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even our fears.  Inner calm in the face of suffering, threat, tragedy comes from trusting that God is with us no matter what comes our way.  In life and in death, we are in God's eternal care.  God will enable us to find a way and God will bring a deep calm amid the storms of life.

God's love is constant and intimate.  God knows us better than we know ourselves and experiences our struggles as we face challenges in life.  God will not abandon us but will guide and open up new possibilities each step of the way.

I have been taking art lessons from a very generous and talented teacher for the past few years.  Nothing that I have produced is worthy of exhibition anywhere.  Just stepping out to attempt drawing or painting or sculpting takes courage because someone else will see what you have produced.  To accept the challenge of a new experience takes courage because we stretch ourselves to do something that we have never done before.  We may discover hidden talents when we attempt to reach beyond the everyday experiences.

You are the artist of your experience.  Take a moment and ponder something you have avoided doing because of fear of failure of looking silly.  Take a chance---paint a picture, go horseback riding, lead a discussion group, tutor a child.  Every journey begins with the first step, however small.

Amid the storm, you are with us, O God.  Help us to sense your calm presence when our hearts are anxious and afraid.  Help us to experience your strength giving us strength and your power giving us courage in the quest for justice and healing.  Amen.

(Thoughts taken from Holy Adventure, by Bruce G. Epperly).

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