June 5, 2010

Tough Times, Big and Small

Be Not Afraid
by John Michael Talbot 

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live. 

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you...

In every life there are the tough times, some large problems and some small; how each of us responds is the same, and then it's different. We can have empathy for others because we recognize their struggle--because we have struggled too. We can understand because we are similarly confronted by life's challenges too. And we can respond similarly or differently because of what we know, what our experiences have been and how we see our self in the context of the larger world.

Sometimes, it seems that the greater challenges are actually the little ones. They come upon us quietly, ever so quietly. We hardly notice them at first. Over time they gain strength and focus, forcing us to pay attention, because attention is well, just that, attention. Now in clear focus, will we regard the difficulties and uncertainty in the light of the world as it is, or will we continue to retreat, to hide behind so many 'reasons' and our weaknesses? Will we continue to say 'no', or will no change to a yes. God wants, demands the best part of us. The Lord it seems, most often seeks and wants, most of all, our 'yeses'.

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