You and I have fished in those same waters, haven’t we? When we put everything into a marriage to make it wonderful, but in the end, our net came back empty. When we invested blood, sweat, and time into a job, but the company downsized and our net came back empty. Our moment of “fishing” happens when we are trying our best to make a living, raise a family, and do good. But just like the disciples, our nets come back empty.
“There is still a stigma about dealing with mental illness publicly. Shame and stigma keep us from dealing with mental or emotional brokenness.”
God has gently reminded me more than once that the onus for what he has promised is not on me. It is on him.
“Ruth’s life is not living up to her expectations. She is a childless widow, living in a foreign land, dependent on the favor of strangers. Enter the Redeemer – the one who can rewrite the ending of a story gone wrong, buying back tragedy and making way for restoration.”
“Some of the gestures clergy have pointed out as most meaningful also reflect the particular challenges they face.”
What’s happening here? Elijah experienced a huge letdown. Even more, he experienced it in the midst of being faithful. He was wondering what he did wrong and if he was the person that he thought he was, if he was the right person for the job. Perhaps he thought to himself, “I did something wrong; it is my fault,” or, “I have been let down by God.”
“Jesus is not limited by the length of time you have been in your condition nor by the severity of the situation you face. Once he puts his hand on you, you will be set free.”
Simply put, “For Ignatius, the ebb and flow of consolation and desolation is the normal path of the Christian life.” There will be times of consolation – when there is a sense of noticeable, personally experienced growth or blossoming, when God’s presence seems close and the means of grace seem easy and quick at hand. There will also be times of desolation – similar to the “dark night of the soul” – when, whether from wrongdoing, or attacks of the enemy, or times of struggle or challenge, God’s presence seems distant or even simply absent, when our growth seems stalled or the habits that sustain us feel unusually heavy.
‘Whenever we recognize who God is, we are praising him.”
Where will you go this week that you will be grateful to have God’s presence with you? What difference will it make to have God with you in that place or situation? When you are discouraged or terrified, how easy is it to make the choice to be strong and courageous?