Look Forward

“. . . look forward . . .”
“My child, if you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test.  Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes.  Stay with the Lord; never abandon him, and you will be prosperous at the end of your days.  Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient.  Gold is tested by fire, and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation.  Trust the Lord, and he will help you. Walk straight in his ways, and put your hope in him.   All you that fear the Lord, wait for him to show you his mercy. Do not turn away from him, or you will fall.  All you that fear the Lord, trust him, and you will certainly be rewarded.  All you that fear the Lord, look forward to his blessings of mercy and eternal happiness.” (Sirach 2:1-9, An Apocryphal book from the Old Testament)
Okay, I just couldn’t resist with all the television commercials using camels these days.  It’s Wednesday so that means it’s HUMP DAY!  That’s right, those of you who work on the more typical Monday – Friday workweek schedule are now on the downward slide to the weekend.  It’s coming, and the awareness of that will help the rest of the workweek be more bearable, just like Mary Poppin’s spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  But what about the rest of us who don’t work the more typical schedule?  Where’s the hump in your week? We all need a hump to work toward so we can climb it and see our way to the end and relief.
The hump is important, but the path up the hump or mountain is just as important.  The focus tends to be sliding down the far side of the hump or mountain into the valley of relief that awaits.  Sometimes it’s important to consider the road that leads up the near side of the hump or mountain on the way to our relief.  It seems to me that’s exactly what the writer of Sirach is suggesting.  The road up the mountain is often arduous and painful.  The temptation is great to abandon the journey or look for an easier fix.  To care and love others the way God has shown us divine love in Christ is often difficult, involving sacrifice, misunderstanding, and even hurt.  Sometimes it’s a real test of our character, patience, and endurance to live our lives caring for others the way Jesus cares for us.  It’s important that we stay the course and avoid the temptation to veer off the road, because staying the course will get us to the top of the mountain (hump) so we can see the valley of relief.  Difficulties up the mountain are to be expected.  The fact that difficulties exist doesn’t negate the existence of God and the availability divine love, but rather, emphasizes the need for our even greater willingness to depend on God’s love drawing us up and over the hump to relief – hope.
I pray that God will help me stay the course up the hump!  How about you?
Blessings and Peace, (and happy Hump Day)
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”


~ by revgenelson on January 28, 2015.

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