I saw another advertising sign this week reminding people that there’s no guarantee that life is easy. Just because we have faith or beliefs in God, that doesn’t change for us either. We too are challenged by daily life. The figureheads of the Bible (Paul/Saul, Abraham, David, Moses, Jesus) didn’t have it easy just because they were who they were. They were each met with challenges, discouragement, frustrations and, with the exception of Jesus, failures too. As I was considering this all, the Bible passage that popped into mind was a familiar one, Psalm 23:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
We’re not guaranteed smooth sailing to heaven but we are given the gift of God’s open arms and presence with us as we meet our daily challenges and stretch to meet the opportunities. This week when you’re confronted by situations out of your control read Psalm 23, or another Bible passage that helps encourage you, and take a few deep breaths. Just because we don’t live an easy life it doesn’t mean we have to make things harder on ourselves. Take a time out when you need one, send your kids on a play date, make a family outing this weekend for a hike in nature, tell someone you need to think things over before giving an answer you may regret later, choose to make the most of this life and not get sucked into the negativity and pettiness that can be part of our lives. When you take the time to be centered and relaxed and choose to think things through rather than just react, you’ll find you had more strength and courage than you believed.