This is Part II of a series!
There is nothing like a good stretch that gets the blood flowing. Physical stretching is important. And, as often is the case, the things of the physical world can help us make a connection to the spiritual realm.
We don’t know the twists and turns that are ahead of us — spiritually or physically — but, if we are a bit primed, we can weather them better.
Are you feeling out of shape? Starting with a marathon isn’t the recommended course of action. Building up stamina and strength, day by day, is the way to go. Unfortunately, that is not my general bent. I don’t like doing a little bit of something every day, I like to dive in and really focus. That is great for deep projects but it is terrible for those things that require a daily diligence.
Understanding my personal rhythm will give me the best chance at success. What are the things I can work on in large chunks of time? And what are the “dailies”? When it comes to faith and spiritual growth, there is a daily need to connect with my Creator. For me, it is a pretty consistent awareness of His presence in and through my day. It might not be formal, but I am not that kind of person anyway. But I also benefit from a longer, more in-depth time. A weekend retreat or several intensive Bible studies in a year.
Do you like to do tasks a little at a time? Or do you like to dig deep for extended periods of time? Does it change depending on the task?
I love that we were all created uniquely! Thank you, God!
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
Here is Part I: S-t-r-e-t-c-h
Wow. The Grand Canyon. Have you ever been there? It is incredibly huge. So huge that you need to spend a little time looking just so you can see. My brother went 30 years ago and he told me there isn’t a picture that can do it justice. So far, I agree. But there were plenty of us trying to capture a bit of the beauty of this place.
We went at the end of the day so there was some amazing light and incredible shadows. The sun was shining and there weren’t very many clouds. The light from the sun flooded all the cracks and crevices. But as the sun was setting, there were these shadows that really played with what I was seeing. They made some of the rock formations appear paper-thin. I knew it wasn’t true, yet I could see it with my own eyes. I knew what was true but my eyes told me what I knew was wrong.
Seeing isn’t everything. How many times are we right in front of something but we don’t see it? Or we thought we saw something but didn’t? If we witness an accident and the police officer questions us, we might give a version of the story that is different then the next person who has another perspective.
I was so surprised by what the shadows did in the canyon. And, digging a little deeper, what shadows can do in my life. Those shadows can be dark places; dark enough to mess with what I see. And my perspective gets messed up.
When I view my circumstances under the Light of God’s Word, it changes how I see things and gives me a full view of what I am facing.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. [Psalm 139: 11-13, NIV]
May the light of God’s Word flood your circumstance and bring you to a greater understanding and perspective.
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 139
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
It’s interesting, I don’t recall that I have had a lot of anxious feelings during my life but I have experienced them more often in the last five years or so. I am not entirely sure what is behind them but I have noticed an increase. I also know a growing number of people who struggle with debilitating anxiety. You know, the kind of anxiety where one cannot get out of bed and enter into the day. That is some tough stuff.
I am sure people struggled with that level of anxiety in my earlier years but I don’t ever recall hearing much about it. I am so thankful that we are in a time where this can be discussed and treated. There is nothing like a good psychologist and psychiatrist, supportive family and friends, and God’s healing touch to help a weary traveler get back on their feet.
Once I did have a meltdown of epic proportions. I remember saying something like this to Don, my husband, “I wish I had a broken arm or leg because then you could see there is something wrong.” It was during a season of very young children mixed with some chronic sleep deprivation. There was illness mixed in with other things and I was overwhelmed at the thought of him going on a particular business trip. It felt very strange to ask him not to leave but I had to. He actually had a really bad cold too so it was better that he stayed home. Even if he wasn’t able to help with the kids, I knew he would be nearby and accessible. It made all the difference in the world to me.
Sleep deprivation makes a huge impact on the psyche and I believe it was at the root of my situation. But there are also so many crazy things happening in our lives and in our world that sometimes, sweet peace seems very elusive.
As I read through Psalm 139, I love the reassurance that God knows my thoughts, that He hems me in, and He created my innermost being.
Are there particular phrases that bring comfort to you?