Have you ever had a recipe that said to fold in ingredients? Here is a bowl before ingredients are folded in.
The week of August 8 our church leadership was hit with another wave of Covid. Many of those afflicted have already had Covid, yet they are ill again. One of the women in our small group in her 80’s has Covid. There is another in her 80s in our group, 2 of us in our 70s and on down the age numbers. Our host decided it was best to cancel our biweekly group. So we will have no meetings for the month of August. (Another meeting was canceled due to attendance number too low.)
Then I wondered if we should meet for the Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 discussion. So far 2 out of 4 have said yes. Phillip Keller wrote
He leads his flock gently, but persistently, up the paths that wind through the dark valleys. It should be noticed that the verse states “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” Somehow, in a serene quiet way I am assured all will turn out well for my best because He is with me in the valley and things are under His control.pages 100, 102 A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23
Reminded again a contemporary saying, “The best way out is usually THROUGH.”
That brought me back to the challenge by John Eldredge in Resilient. One question he poses on Page 8 is
If another pandemic were to sweep across the globe next week, some brand-new deadly threat, and we found ourselves back to quarantines, living under the vague threat of suffering and death, in a state of constant uncertainty about the future, with no clear view of the finish line – how would your heart respond to that?Eldredge – Resilient
When it comes to our household the threat isn’t exactly vague. Pneumonia is also circulating around here. You might remember in 2018 my husband contracted influenza with pneumonia and was hospitalized in ICU with a ventilator, septic shock, organ failure, etc. The medical community was not certain he would survive that first week. Today we have been double vaccinated and double boosted against Covid in this household. Still do not want to tackle Covid and pneumonia at this address.
So I found myself wondering “Have I gained the resilience to go through this round?” Oh yeah, I never finished the book! The skills in each chapter have been strengthening. Now throw in the fact that I have been in pain with this plantar fasciitis since mid-June and in this orthotic boot since end of June. Now Doc is prescribing 3-5 sessions of PT to see if there is improvement. If not, then steroid injection. If no relief then surgery. I wanted to run from his office screaming NO SURGERY! But then again, I cannot run right now. Molly, can you be resilient through this too?
On page 125 Eldredge wrote:
The survivor understands that their present situation is something that they are moving through, passing through. They are enduring with resilience, which is why Jesus encourages endurance. This is not my lasting reality; this is simply my present reality. We are tapping into the help of God and the strength that prevails simply to see us through these times.-John Eldredge
He goes on to say “This frame of mind changes everything,” Yes, John, it surely does. I have had foot pain and been clumping around in this boot for so long that I forgot this is just something I am going through. It just seems as if it will go on forever.
How to get my stability back? Joy & Strength reading for 8/15 quoted Joshua 1:7 “Be thou strong, and very courageous.” Yes, Lord help me with that, too. Strong and very courageous. She quoted Frederik Temple as saying
God does not require from you to be sinless when you come before Him, but He does require you to be unceasing in your perseverance. He does not require that you shall never have fallen; but He does require unwearied efforts. He does not require you to win, but He does require you to fight.Frederick Temple
To change my frame of mind to going through this, with Jesus, enduring with resilience because Christ Jesus the King strengthens me. I fight back the darkness of discouragement and press on towards the light and the upward call of Christ Jesus. The themes from those three sources touched the struggle within me and folded in together to help change my attitude and determination to fight back the darkness and strain towards His light and upward call.
Are you ready to tackle your current personal challenge with these quotes? Do you know in the depths of your being that your Good Shepherd goes with you through this and every challenge? Are you persevering in ways that are strong and courageous? I challenge you to take these quotes and principles of the Kingdom and apply them to your personal challenge. He IS with you and for you. Trust Him to se you through this.