The course I am taking right now has me journaling. I guess this (my blog) is also journaling but with a bit of a different slant. Journaling is a practice that I have come to enjoy and blogging is a big part of the reason I enjoy it. I like the sense of interaction with others that blogging gives – when people comment. But journaling as a practice to reflect on my day and where I have met God through it has become one of the practices I find both enjoyable and useful as a means of spiritual growth. Paying attention to God. Reflecting on my response to God in my daily life. These are things I need to do.
The past couple of weeks the journaling class involved reflecting on a passage of scripture; listening to what God was saying to me through it. Lectio Divina – I enjoy it and find that if I listen to what God is saying to me then the Word of God comes alive for me.
What follows is part of that work from the past couple of weeks – and a bit more. (We are encouraged to be very brief in what we share with the other online members of our groups, so this is a bit longer than what I would post for my course.)
In the past couple of weeks my journaling covered everything from Thanksgiving to dealing with a partial shutdown at work due to possible city water contamination. Plus I had the worst cold I have had all year, my nose and eyes both running!
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you,
O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:*
Do not fear for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you;
When you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my sight, and honored and I love you…
The words from the Lectio “You are precious” spoke to me of something I have a hard time really getting. That fact that God loves me is in my head and nothing much can shake that fact. But God actually would give whole countries to ransom me? I am precious to him? It’s not that I don’t know this just that I have a hard time trusting the reality of it in practice.
So this week, God showed up when I was tired and sick and frustrated by many things. Not quite going through the fire but he showed me his presence.
With a bad cold, I had a rough week, carrying on at work in spite of feeling physically tired. We had to limit our treatment to non-water consuming treatment, extractions among the services we could continue to provide. I was doing an extraction that was not that difficult but, being sick, was exhausting my physical strength. As I was doing it I thought, “Oh God, don’t let this one break. I am too tired.” And in a moment out it popped. It felt as if God was saying to me, “I love you. I hear you. Let me remind you just how precious you are to me.”