Looking to God

Currently I have been struggling with a new source of stress in a year–actually two, to be honest–of great frustration. As I caught myself starting to sink under the weight of the stress I reached out to God via all my characteristic ways of coping and held on for dear life to the assurance that God is in control. Still, the sense of being overwhelmed did not leave. Thoughts of the stressor constantly invaded my mind–thanks ever so much, anxiety disorder–and despite my repeated use of my faith tools I found myself sinking.

As soon as I could this past week I consulted an older and wiser dear friend who has seen much suffering in her life. Her observation was that perhaps I was looking at the problem too much and not at God enough. I reflected on that and realized she was right. In the necessary course of things there were tasks I had to complete as a result of the change in circumstances and yet once those were complete I was still wrestling with the whole thing instead of giving it to God. Clearly this was enough of a stressor that I would need to keep giving it back to Him in surrender to Divine Providence, which reminded me of a beloved book, Abandonment to Divine Providence. (NB–It is also translated as The Sacrament of the Present Moment and my preferred translator is Kitty Muggeridge.) Time to pull it out and start steeping myself in its truths as yet another tool to fight the battle of doubt and worry about how God will provide for us in all of our needs.

Is there anything you’re struggling with today? Perhaps you are–like me–getting a little too focused on the problem and not enough on the solution: looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). As we approach Thanksgiving and then the end of another liturgical year, with the feast of Christ the King to look forward to, may we be thankful that our God truly is ordering all things in our life together for good (Rom 8:28).

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Writers’ Wednesday: A Writer on Books

A worthy quote for this space on a day when I am busy pondering my son going back to school for the last year and so my mental energy is needed elsewhere.

“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage. They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them. Their authors are a natural and irresistible aristocracy in every society, and, more than kings or emperors, exert an influence on mankind.”

― Henry David Thoreau

 

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