Jesus has love for us to experience with Him, regardless of the part of the story we find ourselves in.
Throughout human history, there have been horrific problems and questions about how to solve them. Even Christians can't fix things without continually partnering with Jesus. The turmoil around us can lead us into a feeling of overwhelm, but if we turn we can "see" Jesus, and catch a glimpse of how He's already lovingly at work in us. It's very humbling when we're graced to see how our responses to life are never just about what's happening on the outside.
Like you, I need to regularly set aside the conclusions I start drawing from my feelings and very limited perspective and open myself to Jesus' all knowing, loving direction. I need help perceiving ...
"to become aware or conscious of; come to realize or understand."
So, let's take a breath.
Jesus can help us see when our reaction to life is coming from love or when it's coming from a fearful place of self-protection. Sometimes, it's a mixture of both. We genuinely desire to see people in the world redeemed and restored, especially the people we love. The Holy Spirit desires to comfort and counsel us, helping us perceive even when it's a little complex. We have the greatest hope in the world right at our fingertips. Do we want Christ more than we want our usual habits? Are we ready to welcome Jesus into all of this with us?
Breathe. Deeply breathe.
Recognizing when we step away from Him, grasping for control and our own answers, is critical to receiving His presence at work in us. Naming what we see inside makes us able to partner with Christ. Recognizing is hard spiritual work that takes real-life, real-time practice by applying what we know in our heads and allowing it to be at work in our hearts. Throughout Scripture, the Lord shows Himself to be the answer and teaches us continually not to depend on present circumstances, but to embrace and learn to discern His presence and His ways in the middle of it.
It's simple, but it's not easy. I find myself deeply grateful that Jesus is truly ready and willing. When a particular root gets tripped on, it triggers our woundedness. Each of us has "sensitive" areas. Instead of looking out there and blaming someone in the world for how we feel, let's look to Jesus and ask Him, "What are you bringing up to the surface for me so that I can see this truthfully?" Our openness to His transforming presence is the most important thing we need to look at right now.
Breathe. Breathe deeply.
In the details of this part of human history together, may we lean on the Holy Spirit at work in us to lead us into the “how”. Problems have always been difficult to solve. How do we draw near to our Father’s heart when so many people have heightened emotion and don’t know how to process it? May we be graced with opportunities to learn together.
Jesus, breathe life.
Prayerfully notice .... How is the state of my soul right now?
Pick a question to pray with:
When are you focusing on trusting your responses to the problems we're facing rather than on Jesus to show us the way?
Invite Jesus into that space with you remaining tender to receive His love and guidance.
Where can you see yourself inside opening to Christ's healing care? Where inside are you still a little closed off and want to handle it yourself? Invite Jesus into that space with you remaining tender to receive His love and guidance.
Practice Lectio Divina, a way to be with God through Scripture. Simply let God give Himself to you in whatever way He wants to care for you. Read, breathe and pause, read again. Reflect on what's happening in you as you do. Thank Jesus for who He is and what He's doing within you.
~ Matthew 11:28-30, John 15:1-4, Lamentations 3:21-26, Psalm 40:1-3, Psalm 139:1-5 ~
If you feel some companionship in a spiritual direction environment could be helpful to you right now, please reach out.
Photo Credit: Alvin Matthews