COLLECT OF THE DAY
Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer, p. 220
I was in my twenties, a wild young party animal having a big time - only I was so miserable and lonely. I knew deep down this was not the path for me, and yet this is what I did. A friend, one who died too early, told me I needed to trust more. He was so right and I have never forgotten this. He meant to trust people more, but I think God was working through my friend to teach me to trust Him.
As part of our humanness, we suffer from a wide buffet of mental anguish. Depression, anxiety and pain are a few selections. To differing degrees, in different flavors, at different times in our lives we all share in these most human of maladies. Whether caused by a difficult upbringing, a chemical imbalance, or deep fears and hurts is yesterday’s news. Today our challenge is to trust God and move forward in His love. In fact, the very suffering we feel may be a signal that we have strayed from His plan for us. When this mental pain guides us to do something different, to embark on some change of perspective or action that brings us closer to God, then even it has become a form or means of grace.
As God tells Jeremiah:
And they have worn you out,
How can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
How will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”
God is telling Jeremiah that things can always get worse and he needs a plan. The plan is to trust in God. Again he says to Jeremiah:
Who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
Whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like the tree planted by the water
that sends its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."
God is with us and loves us and his glorious plan will be revealed. Trust.