Joyful. Patient. Faithful.

It seems to me that far too many people dear to me have been dealing with far too much turmoil and heart ache recently. Enough already. In my human view of things, the world would just make a whole lot more sense if things (at least eventually) turned out good for the good ones, you know? But, that’s not how it is at all, is it? Sometimes the good ones finish last. Sometimes they don’t get to finish at all.

In a broken, fallen, grieving world; in the world of here and now, things don’t always add up the way we think they should.

So, as I was spending some time in quiet meditation and prayer this week, and this verse washed over me in such a new and vibrant way, thoughts of all these dear souls flooded over me and I just knew that they needed to feel encouraged as I was.

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(This lovely version was not created by me, so my thanks to the artist who posted this here).

If today is one of the best days of your life, dear friend… be joyful in hope. I am so grateful for these days you are in. Let them be strength to you for the days that are not! Don’t look for ways to darken the light. It is good. Bask in it. Be joyful in hope.

If today is one of the darkest you have ever trudged through, dear friend… be patient in affliction. The old adage is true – this too shall pass. The darkest of days are always followed by dawn. It is a universal law. It will not be broken. You already have within you whatever you need to walk this road. Trust that you will. Trust that you can. If all that you can muster is one breath, Take it. Take the next one, and the next one, and the next one. And before you know it, some time will have passed. You will be a tiny bit further through the shadows. Keep moving through them. Be patient in affliction.

And covering, like a warm, soft, fragrant cloak over these two extremes – the high and the low, the strength and the weakness… be faithful in prayer. You are held, dear friend. In higher esteem than you can ever imagine. You are heard. Cherished. Beloved. So, pray. Pray in disbelief, in anger, in fear, in sorrow. Pray in love, in abundance, in fits of giggles and triumph! Words sent up to heaven, the cries of your heart, are holy. Speak them in earnest, never-ceasing. Be faithful in prayer.

Wherever you are today, be encouraged. I sure am.

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