Monday, June 25, 2012

My Aunt Catherine, when faced with trials or illness, always said:  "If it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger."   The old gal was one of the strongest people I have ever encountered.  Her life was filled with challenges -- physical, relational, and economic.  She was also a spiritual powerhouse.  You can read more about her here.  She endured every storm with trust in God -- right up til the last day of her life.

Consider these words from Pastor Randy's sermon:  

“Do you not care?”  Isn’t that the question we often ask about each other in terms of trials, tribulations, and difficulties that we face in our lives?  We say to our neighbors, our relatives, our co-workers, our immediate family members in times of struggle, “do you not care?”  It is a question that many times can have some assumptions behind it.  For usually when we ask the question, it comes out of a wounded disposition.  Perhaps something has happened to us, we have been wronged, hurt, cheated, challenged, or greatly frustrated, and we begin to feel as those who we thought were connected to us, those who may even be the ones who have inflicted the situation upon us have not acted appropriately to either consider our well being, or perhaps have intentionally done something to wrong us. So we ask the question: “Do you not care?”  It is a demonstration of the conflict of being a living human being.  Humans have conflict with one another, conflict with nature, and even conflict with God.  The conflict of God often appears in the form that it did to these disciples.  We are going through difficult times and it seems as though God is aloof.  It seems as though God might not be paying attention to us.  It is almost like we are taking water in our ship and are in danger of drowning and it feels like God is asleep, so we cry out to God: “Do you not care?”

For reflection:  When have you faced a struggle that seemed to prevail with no end in sight?  Who was involved?  How did your relationships with others either strengthen your trust in humanity or erode it?  Is the struggle still taking place?  If you have come through it, how does the memory affect you?  

When you come to the end of your rope and cry out "Do you not care?" a shift can occur.  Of course, God does care.  At the moment your faith ignites, strength that defies the circumstance steps forward and establishes the heart and mind on solid ground.  Notice the difference that makes!  

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