It is good to experience the quiet ministry of the living spirit of the living God. Again and again there are the little healings of silent breaches which sustain us in our contacts with the world and with one another. We are stunned by the little word, the unexpected silence, the smile off key; without quite
knowing why, the balance is recovered and the rhythm of the hurt is stopped in its place. There is the sense of estrangement which overtakes the happiest human relations and the experience of recovery that makes the heart sing its old song with a new lilt. There are days when everything seems difficult, when the ordinary tasks become major undertakings, when one is sensitive and every moment is
threatened by an explosion that does not quite come to pass; then without apparent cause, the whole picture changes and the spirit can breathe again with ease, the spring in the step comes back again. It is good to experience the quite ministry of the living spirit of the living God. Sometimes we are catapulted into disaster with a suddenness that paralyzes the mind and leaves the exposure to fear unshielded by courage or by strength. If there had been some warning, some intimation of what was to come, the wisdom of the years could have buttressed the life with a measured protection. But no, this was not the case. Often even before the full awareness of what has taken place can be felt, the realignment of one’s powers begins to work and recovery is on the way.
There are problems that meet us head-on in our journey. The issue of our spirit and the thing that confronts us is joined—we are engulfed in the great silence of fateful struggle. It seems that nowhere, in no place, can an answer be found. In vain we seek a clue, a key, even a little thing to give a fleeting respite, a second wind. Again and again it is apt to happen: the miracle of relief; a chance word from a casual conversation; a sentiment or a line in a letter; the refrain of an old song; an image from the past; a paragraph from a printed page; a stirring of prayer in the heart—the miracle of relief and we are released. The danger is passed; the conflict is over. It is good, so very good. To experience the quiet ministry of the living spirit of the living God.
From The Inward Journey by Howard Thurman
I know that this is the same meditation that I shared with you last year but this writing is so precious and meaningful for me that I just felt I needed to share again. God is always there offering us his love and his many gifts; we have but to accept them. That is the hard part. We are an independent people; self-made, self-reliant, or so we like to believe. To accept help is a sign of weakness, a flaw. We come by this honestly. It is what our culture teaches us as well as the fact that we are human and therefore no different than all the other humans before us who have tried to do things their own way. God offers us love, help and gifts in many ways; many times through our friends, our family or maybe even a stranger. I have come to realize in the last several months how hard it is for me to accept help from others. My first response is always “thank you for your concern and offer but we are fine. I’ll certainly let you know if I need anything”. How ungracious and unappreciative that is when one considers the kindness and concern offered to us in love. When we consider that it may well be God who has prompted that person or persons to offer help we are essentially saying to God that His help is not needed. We can handle this.
So I ask you to reconsider the words and meaning of the above meditation by Howard Thurmon and remember that God is always waiting and wanting to help and comfort;
we must be willing to humble ourselves and admit we are very limited in our ability to take care of ourselves, by ourselves.
I also want to give a gift I received from a dear friend last week. It is a very brief video of one of Jesus’ most familiar parables set to beautiful music. My heart needed it when it came to me in a group e-mail. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
May we all remember during this season of giving that God is always wanting to give us His love and gifts. May we be willing to receive them with a humble and appreciative heart!