He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart…
Some days are crisp and focused. Some days slide by in a blur. The latter describes life around here the past few weeks. I’ve seen too many EMT’s at the door late at night, the inside of an emergency room, and the waiting room of the doctor’s office much too often.
You don’t plan for months like this. In fact, plans that were on the books had to be changed and rearranged. Anxiety hits, hypervigiliance takes over, sleep becomes elusive, appetite lessens, and daily life becomes the undaily life.
I know that “new” normals appear throughout our lives. Marriage, new baby, new house, new city, new job but the older I get, unexpected changes of health and ordinary living seem harder to accept as the new normal.
Yet, the sweet part of it all is the closeness I’ve found at the heart of Jesus. That verse, “Pray without ceasing” now has meaning. I know that He is in control and if I turn the hard things over to Him, He will give me peace. Anxiety and stress indicates that I’m trying to do it on my own rather than dropping the burden at Jesus’ feet and leaving it there.
I often repeat the 23rd Psalm to myself in those night hours as I lean into my Shepherd, knowing I have everything I need. After a particularly stressful day, I climbed into bed and as I lay there, I pictured Jesus cradling me in His arms. I fell asleep at peace and slept through the night.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I do know (from experience) that He will be there to get me through it. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 but the words “plans to give you hope and a future” leaped out. Of course, hope, but this time “a future” blazed its way into my soul. There is more than this hard time, there is a future.
“I will take care of you.”
You are a blessing to me, Gerry. Those “new normals” can often be so overwhelming. As I watch what you are going through, your honesty and faith encourage me. I, too, cling to Jeremiah 29:11 that God has plans not to harm me, but to give me hope and a future. Even deeply believing this doesn’t completely take away episodes of stress, anxiety, and even anger and frustration. “Does it really have to be this way?” Leaning on God’s promises does make painful times become less devastating. In Handel’s “Messiah” these words mean so much to me. “Take His yoke upon you and learn of Him”. When I am yoked with Him, He carries the responsibility of leading. I can walk, (yoked) alongside in trust that He will never take a wrong turn or cause me to fall.