PSALM 27: 1, 4-8, 13-14
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
4 One thing I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
6 Now my head is lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, do I seek.
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
In my life these days there is quite a bit going on and I am realizing the anxiety that comes along with that. We have the work that we are doing with our homeless community and trying to figure out the best way forward when it seems there isn’t a best way forward. This of course affects the entire church community. When anxiety rises, other stuff comes up. In turn, this directly impacts our homeless everyday congregation. There has been quite a bit of pastoral care all around.
There are some life decisions that will need to be made fairly quickly and yet we still don’t quite know what they are. The in between space seems really full of anxiety because of the uncertainty.
There are big life events being planned. These are actually super fun events but still big plans and many details to be hashed out.
Holy week is next week which always ramps up everything.
And on top of that, I am leaving for Cuba for a week just two days after Easter (I actually get on a flight to Miami late Monday night, we leave for Havana that Wednesday morning). So getting ready to be gone for a week is always a little stressful. I will be going for a class through the General Board of Higher Ed and Ministry which means I have homework to complete before I go.
Phew! No wonder I was sick last week!
At worship team yesterday, we were talking about anxieties being high at this time of year for our people. We talked about some of the best tools to try to navigate that instead of fear. So often we head towards fear in the midst of our anxiety and yet fear only leads us astray. One thought we had was to offer up the Psalms as places to vocalize that anxiety, lament and then hope again. The Psalmists do so well at this! They express all to God from the depths of their soul to the rejoicing of their hearts. Psalm 27 is an excellent example. In this Psalm, anxiety is voiced and then fear is given to God. The writer lifts up a voice that I can relate to. The solutions aren’t clear and the waiting real. I am in that space right now. The waiting …the anxiety…and the need to cry out to God to calm down. My mantra this season has been , “all shall be well and all shall be well.” Julian of Norwich said that. I say it over and over and over again….
The Psalmist cries out and then waits. There is comfort in that as well. It is a good example that God can handle it. God can handle our anxieties and our fears before we unleash them on the world. And with that knowledge, how can we be so afraid?
Ok…other practical tools that I have found….living into the present helps reduce the anxiety about the future timeline. Breathing and exercising helps (although I need to get back to it after being sick). Good friends are amazing. Fun distractions aren’t so bad. What are your tools?