Good Times-Bad Times
Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life. – Ecclesiastes 7:14
My faith is not so much in danger when hard times hit. These are the moments I am brought to my knees. In my anguish, I will say to my God “I can’t do this anymore.” He will softly reply, “Good, now let me handle it.”
But when things are going smoothly, I have to be extra alert to my complacency. Sometimes, when the momentum is strong – so is my ego. EGO = Edging God Out. Such behavior can lead to self-made misery, of which I am a good architect – if I don’t remain spiritually vigilant.
This is evident within my marriage. My husband chose to marry me when I was in the thick of my fight with Gastroparesis. Having lost 65 pounds from starving the prior year and not knowing if this weight loss/starving would end in the near future, he still wanted to marry me.
During this time there were numerous trips to the ER. One night in particular, my husband would tell me a year later he thought for sure I would not be coming home that night. I had no idea what his fears were because he remained so strong. There were nights, after puking my guts out I would find him in the bedroom straightening out the comforter and diffusing peppermint essential oil. There would be a cough drop laying on my pillow waiting for me. This is when our marriage was at its strongest.
Now two years into my remission, we have to pause at times and discuss how we are doing. So used to functioning under difficult circumstances, we now have to get used to living with my good health. It seems to take more work, more vigilance. We both know how worthwhile it is. So we do this because we love each other. Because we are committed.
This takes daily communication. Daily communication with each other. Daily communication with God. Spiritual Vigilance.
Daily communication with God
I am not talking dogma. I am referring to a daily conversation with your God, however it works for you. Some pray on their knees, some in a chair, some in their car. When I think about road trips with my husband, I recognize that these are some of the best conversations we have. So why not with God? Some use prayer beads to keep focus during prayer. Some pray for an assigned length of time and some just go with the flow. Prayer is personal. Like any other form of communication, it takes practice to find your rhythm. My prayer life is my prayer life and yours is yours. Neither are the same nor are they wrong.
Staying in touch with God daily makes it so much easier to call upon Him when the sh*t hits the fan. (Yes I did use a four-lettered word and no, I don’t think God minds at all.) We can avoid that awkward beginning of prayer “God, I know I only talk to you when things go very wrong, but…” Not that God needs us to pray to him, prayer is for our own benefit. I am fairly certain that God is NOT checking off on a chart each time we pray to him. We are not on a spiritual gold star system.
The other part is in listening for God’s voice or seeking His messages if you will. So many lessons are to be learned from all of His creation if you are truly searching for them. People laugh when I say that God speaks to me through my dogs. “Your dog talks to you?”, my granddaughter once asked. Not exactly. I will see a manner of behavior in them that will remind me of something I need to work on in myself. Because I am paying attention now. I am asking God to speak to me however He so choses.
All this takes time and practice. A good start:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
Stay Blissful My Friends – E