I don’t know about you, but for me these first several months of 2019 have been heavy. I started the year with a set of personal health challenges: migraines, insomnia, anxiety—all things I’m slowly working through. At the worst, though, all these things are more annoyances than anything else.
But these past few months, more than any other time I can recall, have been filled with so much illness, death, and senseless loss for people dear to me. My heart feels incredibly, incredibly heavy from the weight of that. I know that in these last days it’s supposed to feel as if the sunshine has been blacked out. But while we are still here, how, when days seem very dark, can we still light them?
I’m going to depart from the traditional structure that this section of the magazine is supposed to follow, and I hope to offer you something practical and tangible. First, when days are rough and times are difficult, never forget we aren’t on this journey alone. To remember that, though, we must daily remind ourselves and make a conscientious choice to put our faith into action. One of the easiest ways to do that is to claim the promises, sing the songs, read the quotes, and keep them all at the forefront of our minds.
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”—Inspired by passages from the Talmud
So permit me to share some of my favorite “helps” with you. I hope you can use this page as a reference of sorts. Clip it out, take a picture of it, print it from our Web site, google the music and listen to it, whatever you’d like to do. I pray that it helps you as we remember to pray for each other, as much as we do for ourselves, and remember Who holds it all together in the good days and much as those that are bad.
“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Philippians 4:6, 7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” by Louisa M. R. Stead and William J. Kirkpatrick
“It Is Well With My Soul,” by Horatio G. Spafford and Philip P. Bliss
“Rescue,” by Lauren Daigle
“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” by Hillsong United
“None but Jesus,” by Hillsong United
A closing quote: “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”—Inspired by passages from the Talmud