September Jottings 2021

29 Sep 21

– Peace 

The last few months have been stressful for lots of people.  Worries about personal health and safety and anxiety about family and friends have taken their toll.  Many have had to cope with changes in their financial security or have suffered stress through working for long periods under difficult circumstances.  Recent events in the news have also been deeply upsetting, even if wildfires, floods, the earthquake in Haiti or the political situation in Afghanistan have not affected us at a personal level.  National news has been equally depressing with frequent reports of violent deaths.  Anxiety and distress for ourselves or on behalf of others is understandable.  How do we find peace in these times?

During lockdowns people were encouraged to be aware of their emotions and offered opportunities to de-stress, or in modern terms to experience mindfulness.  I certainly found that some of the film clips shown on television of natural landscapes and sounds were very calming.  It was a relief not to have the intrusion of a human voice or background music.  Like many people, listening to favourite music, walking, gardening or creating a piece of art  can all bring me relief from anxiety, even tackling household chores can focus the mind on something other than the stress itself.  Most of us will be aware of what works best in our particular situation.

It can be a surprise to people that followers of Jesus are not immune from these feelings.  However Christians can find peace in time spent being quiet with God, in praying or singing His praise and in reading the Bible.  There are some encouraging verses in the Bible that reassure us that we can be at peace with God whatever our problems or circumstances. 

You may like to reflect on the following verses. 

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.  The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16

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