Sunday, November 18, 2007

Meek and lowly in heart...

¨Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take your yoke upon me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.¨
-- Matthew 11: 28ff

¨Here we may find rest for our souls, and here only. Nor need we fear his yoke. His commandments are holy, just, and good. It requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, even in this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that is lined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, so suitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations to be found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yoke of pleasantness.¨
-- Matthew Henry

I was sharing with DD this week a spiritual truth I have observed. Since we live in a fallen world most of what goes on externally tends to pull us down by creating a vortex of weariness, anxiety or discomfort -- that most unpleasant sensation that occurs when we perceive some threat to our physical or emotional stability. This conversation came up because DD has been having ongoing conflicts with her class mates who try to take advantage of her gentle and giving nature and punish her by excluding her from the main group of girls. Fortunately, she has one friend who has been loyal, but this friend will be moving to Mexico next month and DD is dreading the idea.

It's not just the external stimuli that disturbs us but how we often interpret what goes on, often doing a poor job at it . We allow distressful thoughts to enter and wage war inside of us. As the saying goes, ¨Whatever we give attention to, tends to grow¨ whether positively or negatively. When distress grows, we lose peace, and seek in futile ways to numb the pain. Anxious thoughts take many shapes and forms, sometimes attacking our relationship with God or the people we love. At other times we feel under the oppressive cloud of guilt or low self-esteem. It can AFFECT us the ENTIRE day, or the whole week... so we find it hard to focus or connect with the present. Our anxiety level can go through the roof, so that we get that unhinged desperate feeling like everything is out of control.

I'm sharing this because this potentially hard reality can ironically help us to appreciate the good that comes our way... to be attentive and anticipating such visitations from love. We come to value God’s offer to live peacefully and to enjoy kindred-spirit friends that bring warmth and comfort to life ... who are supportive, gentle and kind. I come to realize these beautiful souls are in short supply and I pray to God, the Father that we might continue being for each other a support that contrasts to the uncertainties outside... for it is only in His Kingdom and with his children to whom we can voice our fears and experiences to find reassurance and validation.
-- Reflector

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