Hope is an act of courage. Hope requires that we see beyond the mire of our current circumstances into a better tomorrow. As COVID 19 numbers spike, and threats of quarantine loom, many are losing hope. Some businesses are hanging on by a thread - or already gone. Loneliness, depression, and anxiety are quite real, and the shorter days will only magnify their effects. Yet... there are reasons to hope...
The Sun Rises Every Morning
Yes, this is a rather obvious statement, but it is a reminder that life presents new chances and opportunities. Each sunset is a lovely benediction to all that God provides. Each sunrise is a reminder of God's grace. No matter what happened the previous day, there's a new day laid out before us, a new opportunity to commit or recommit to the activities and changes we want to make in our lives. Whatever your goals are, whatever new habits you want to build on or old habits you want to jettison; it's a new day.
There's Never Been a Winter so Cold It Could Stop the Spring
Before you start pointing to the Ice Age, I would like to remind you that it lost. Spring came and there was no contest. Soon the cold will envelop us in its unrelenting grip. When we step outside our faces will hurt, the wind will cut right through us, and snow and ice will taunt us. The fields that are resting from the harvest will become so frozed that you would need a jackhammer to penetrate the surface. But, alas, it's only a season. Soon, the season will pass, the warmth will settle in, and tiny, vulnerable shoots of new life will poke through the previously unpenetrable. Life always wins. Whatever we are enduring at the moment will pass. It is a season. God can't just leave broken stuff alone. Where there is despair - God brings joy. Where there is hurting - God brings healing. Where there is death - God brings resurrection. God does not let hurt or disappointment or brokenness pass without using them to shape us into the image of Jesus.
The Greater Life's Burdens Press Upon Us, the Greater God's Power is Within Us
The apostle Paul says that he rejoices when he's weak, because he knows the power of Christ grows within him. During times of suffering we draw near to God, and God draws near to us. We turn from our own power and resources and place ourselves in God. In such times, we can sense God's awareness more powerfully. When the wind is at our backs and the sun shines brightly upon us, life is good. When the gusts knock us down and the darkness settles in, God comes close. Many times in my life I have experienced God so powerfully present in times of heartbreak and struggle. God is present always, but in such times of distress God is powerfully present.
John begins his gospel with the reminder that darkness is no match for light. A single candle will light up an entire room. Friends, there is a lot of darkness in the world right now. Let your light shine. And have hope... Audaciously cling to what God offers.
Your Partner In Spiritual Health,
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Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here.
I am at home in the difficult spaces of peoples’ lives, willing to listen and to support those who work to grow themselves. I am a trained coach and have consulted with churches in conflict. Not your stereotypical minister, I embrace the Gospel with joy and laughter as I seek to help those around me grow in faith and understanding, always striving to leave people better than they came. An agent of wholeness, I create a safe space for people, especially those who have been marginalized, where they can understand how ridiculously loved and valued they are by God/Higher Power/Spirit, and to experience the difference that makes in life.
I started the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast to share the stories of people who have faced life's most difficult challenges, to inspire you to lean into and overcome your own. It's helpful to know that you're not alone in your struggles and to see how others have navigated similar circumstances. You can listen to it here.
Here's what I can do for and with you.