Friday, December 26, 2014

Newness and hope - Diane Mettam

I am dealing with two more infections.  The medications leave me very weak and tired.  And I have to admit I am tempted to ask, “Why me?”  Haven't I been tested enough?  Is the world out to get me?  And finally, the old classic, “I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!”

I'm sure many of us feel the same way, especially around the holidays.  We don't have bodies that operate the way we'd like.  We can't depend on them.  Or our minds don't focus well, or like they used to.  We just can't concentrate, or remember things.  Maybe our bodies and minds have never been that reliable.  And for some reason the holidays just seem to exacerbate these things.  We have so much to do, and can't seem to get it done.

But what is it that we really need to do to prepare for Jesus?  What does the Lord require of us?  I always go back to my life verse, Micah 6:8: 

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
        and what does the  Lord  require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
        and to walk humbly with your God?”

And then I tell myself, “Why not me?  Who better to deal with pain and fatigue and discouragement than one who follows in the footsteps of Jesus?”  We have been gifted with a marvelous example to follow.  We have been gifted with “wonderful words of life” to inspire us, console us, guide us.  We have been gifted with “a cloud of witnesses,” both before us and around us, to whom we can reach out for counsel and example. 

And now it is Christmas.  We celebrate again the coming of the Christ Child.  We rejoice in the gift of new life, new beginnings, new hope.  We look ahead to a new year and a new start.

Dear Lord,  We thank you for the gift of Jesus, who bore not only the weight of our sins, but the weight of our suffering.  When we think we cannot carry on alone, remind us that we are not alone.  When we think the load is too heavy, remind us that we can share it.  And when things are going well, remind us to thank you.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

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