Promises of Jesus

“About every 3 or 4 days something a darkness slips in for the day.”

“I’ll be zipping along and then just get overwhelmed by something.”

“I only read the news for 15 minutes a day online. Otherwise, I get very depressed.”

“I miss people. Not just friends, but strangers.”

These are all words from friends this week in Zoom calls, blog posts, Facebook posts or on the telephone. We are all facing some level of anxiousness in these unusual times. I worry particularly about our clergy as most say they are working harder than ever and feel like with less to show for it.

But this post isn’t to tell you what you already know, it’s to remind you that doing things to care for yourself is necessary right now. That might mean a regular prayer and quiet time. It might mean baking. For me it is a walk in the woods. My wife describes my time in the woods as being in “my happy place.” Maybe it’s the birds, the streams or the uneven terrain…

Sunday, I went for a long hike but kept finding my brain returning to work, chores or taxes to be done. My recourse was to abandon something my soul desperately needed or find some way to hear differently. A verse popped into my head, Matthew 6:26-27, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

I began to listen to the birds as I walked. Each time another worry broke through, I listened for a bird’s song. The songs remind me of the promises of Jesus, not just in these verses, but the promise of the Kingdom and the great cloud of witnesses that surround me. And so, I walked on, with God’s song as my soundtrack. What are you listening to today?