Friday, May 22, 2020

Keeping Calm during Troubled Times

For around 3 months we have been at home during the Covid 19 pandemic.  It has been a scary/depressing time.  At first, not much was known about it, except that it was very contagious and deadly.  I used the extra free time at home to do some art work everyday.  I began to follow Shawn Petite's lead in making a calm art journal to focus my mind on good things.  As I started working on it, I realized that most of the words of the word prompts in the journal were the same as the "Fruit of the Spirit". 
 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23 
As I painted each page, I would think of the word and what it meant for me.  I also looked up the word in the Biblegateway website and read and meditated on the scripture for that word.  It really was a great way to focus on the Lord. Through this exercise He gave me the peace I needed to get through this troubled time.  Here are the pages in the journal.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
This verse always jumps out at me.  I am loved by God!  Wow!  You are loved by God!  He loves us so much that He gave his only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins.  He was buried, and then 3 days later He rose from the grave. (John 3:16).  This is the greatest love.  Tenderness, kindness, others first, self sacrificing, caring, and commitment are other words that came to my mind as I painted this page.
"Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:" Psalm 66:1
My beautiful grandchildren fill up my "joy" tank every time I see them. They are such a blessing to me.  Other things that bring me joy are hearing birds singing, little birds, balloons, painting, my kids, nature, trees, music and flowers.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
Wow, this verse really helped me.  No matter what happens, I know that Jesus will always be with me.  Other peaceful things for me are the ocean, a quiet lake, a singing bird, the sunset or sunrise, music, flowers, a hug, a cuddly little dog, a flickering candle, God's word, a smile, and a sleeping baby.
"But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4
The first 2 weeks were pretty easy to just stay home.  But, as the weeks turned into months, it got harder and harder to wait for things to be normal again.  It's been tough to wait.  It's been hard to miss out on our gathering together at church to worship and praise the Lord together.  Sure, it was great to at least join and participate with virtual worship on-line.  But, it's not the same.  Things won't be normal for a long time.  So, we continue to wait and be patient.  The Lord has all things in control.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
My faith in God and Jesus makes me who I am.  My faith gives me peace, joy, strength, love and many more good things.
"The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy." Psalm 147:11
My hope is in the Lord.  It's so good to know that it gives Him pleasure.

"But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:" I Thess. 2:7
 Be kind to one another.

"Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
 I was thinking of our brave medical workers and our wonderful military, who are the front line workers for us.  They practice courage everyday and I am so thankful to them.
I pray that as you read through this post and look at each journal page that it will help you to have hope, calmness and peace.  God bless you my friend!

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