25 Sep

Joy-Thieves!

Have you ever felt so listless, sad, powerless that you pray but don’t think the “connection” went through? That pretty much describes where I’ve been the last few weeks… and provides one more reason to strongly dislike the month called September.

I suppose it actually began when the post-Hurricane Harvey footage started coming in. Many of the other topics in the news ceased to be so important as I watched folks who had lost their homes and so many lost their lives in this storm. I DID find and feel much joy as people came out to help and assist others regardless of race, creed, color, religion and yep-even political party! It gave me pause to remember what’s really important – LOVE!

And then came Hurricane Irma!! This storm made a direct hit on the Caribbean island of Sint Martaan/St.Martin which has a very special place in my heart and mind. My husband and I have been going there for about the past ten years and made friends with many on “the French side”. While I saw and know that many other of the islands also were utterly devastated (think Barbuda, the Virgin Islands, and parts of Cuba), I was especially affected by the destruction of so much of our island “home away from home”. So much so that when my beloved came home, I broke down and cried!! Not something I do too often!

Well, Irma wasn’t finished and went on to visit her winds on Florida. What made it more difficult for us is that we have elderly relatives a mere few miles from where she made landfall! Thankfully, they are both now quite safe and power has been restored. Needless to say, until we heard the news that Sunday night, the tension and anxiety around here was palpable! After all the other emotional stuff this was almost just too much and I went from being deeply saddened to just plain ANGRY!

To add a little more emotional poison, the following Monday was that ugliest of dates– 9/11!!

…and then came Maria another unprecedented monster storm! Even as I write, Puerto Rico is like a war zone! Food is running low, water is still high and deep, power isn’t expected to be restored for weeks, even months! I personally feel pretty helpless at this point.¬†And of late— Mexico suffered a truly monstrous 7.1 earthquake! I was long past “Enough already!

Yes, I was and am still praying but my faith – well, I’ll be the first to admit that the words sometimes felt to me like I was praying to air. I hadn’t really been turning to scripture much since this all began, and I’d try to keep praying but in the back of my mind was “what’s the use?” Pretty scary huh!?!

Then today, trying to get back on His path, Jesus gave me Matthew 8:23-27 as a reminder of what is possible…and what MY problem might be.

I was also reminded in Proverbs 18:10 WHO our God is: a safe place and a place of protection…and silly as it may seem, that spark of joy returned and a sense of the bigger picture. We don’t always know what God’s doing and of course we all have, at times asked “Why Lord? WHY?” Ultimately it comes down to faith that all He has promised, all the wondrous characteristics of our God are true.

As I start this 4th quarter of 2017 (and the Jewish High Holy Days/Rosh Hashanah (new year)) I start thinking also about what might come next. I used to start the review and plan process in November, but I’m getting older so I’m giving myself more time.

As I get back to blogging, I’m also re-thinking the mission of Abidingways.org as well as considering a site re-design. One thing I hope to share with you is my current in-depth study adventure in Romans. You see, one of my personal “out there” goals is to write a commentary on this letter of Paul’s that is chock full of teaching about LIVING the Christ-following way. Check in here on Thursday for where I began and for an invite to come on this journey with me! Hope to see you then!

Have you ever had any heavy duty joy-stealing experiences? How do you (did you) deal with it. I’d love to hear! Share in the comments below? I’d love it if you’d also share “Along the Way” with others! Thanks!!

If you’re so led, be sure to give of your bounty to the many who have been affected by these things. Consider the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and I’ve heard Samaritan’s Purse.

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