"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care."
~ Psalm 95:6 -7
We are reminded that in our Christian walk we are to be in the world, but not of it. Pretty hard to do when the state of the world seems to call out for Christians to make their presence known. We are actually being called to practice a form of spirituality that is not blind to what is going on in the world, or to retreat, but to somehow exist in a way that allows for the Divine to enter dust, and for the world to know hope.
For the last week I have really struggled to find the words to express that hope after experiencing a loss in my family and the need for me to reach out and find comfort. I guess in some ways I have retreated so that I might be able to more accurately express these feelings.
Just because we have times where we may fall silent, or cannot seem to find the words to address situations in the world, it does not mean that we are lost. It simply means that we are waiting.
Once again I am reminded of the words shared by one of my patients who also became a dear friend, "Patience is the ability to learn to live within God's timing."
Hope in itself is not just about waiting, or withdrawing, surrendering, or silence when the events of the world seem to paralyze us. Our spiritual growth may seem to connected to the times when we become captives or exiled to places where we never thought we would find ourselves.
In other words, when we discover that we are surrounded by the things of this world, we should not forget that hope still exists.
Being in the world, but not of the world, is a form of spiritual liberation that encourages us to have hope and to remain faithful. We often cannot prevent the things of this world from overwhelming us, but in our adversity, we must always hold on to hope.
When we allow for this to happen, we no longer find ourselves centered on ourselves and our struggles, but center ourselves upon God, who continues to love us unconditionally. It is in this we hold out hope, and remain, while the world seems to fade away.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.