The Worst of Times, The Best of Times

Maybe it’s me, but it seems there are a lot of unusual challenges afoot. So many friends seem to be experiencing an inordinate number of difficulties, whether emotional, relational, physical. Thankfully the end results are working out. But it’s taking work.

We love those wonderful synchronicities, when events happen that just can’t be coincidence, but rather we sense there’s something bigger afoot, that our Abba is there orchestrating the interactions to create a powerful awareness of His Presence. Conversely, and on a larger scale, the increasing number of difficulties by so many may be no accident, but rather, may be an indication of a time we are in that may feel like the worst, but perhaps is the best.

Several months back I awoke with a crazy symptom – I could not straighten out my left pinky. Big deal, right? But it’s progressively getting worse, the disorder has a name, and I will be having it addressed medically over the next several weeks. The days of dealing with it, the challenges it has brought regarding hand function, the discomfort, the decisions to be made, the prognosis, and finally the hope, have been daily reminders of our walk. Such a tiny thing, a pinky, but always in view, helped me to not take for granted my otherwise good health, yet challenged me, and I hope ultimately, will be healed. Being so visible, it is a constant reminder to me how a small thing can become a bigger problem if left unaddressed, that if I try to ignore it, it will only get worse. With prayers of faith that HaShem is in control and work by me to undergo treatment, I am once again reminded of this unfailing lesson of how to survive these times, how to restore hope.

I have friends with real health challenges but who have seen HaShem’s amazing Hand in their story. There are those with emotional challenges that seem worse than usual but who are working harder than ever to overcome them. Relationships are under attack but those who love each other see this and are doing the necessary work to not succumb to the forces at work. The key is to not be caught unawares, but rather, to be vigilant in our faith that our Abba is with us and do the work.

Today we live in an almost unprecedented time of disequilibrium. I haven’t seen this many protests since the ’60s. And yet, I’m blown away by the stories of hope. It actually seems for every discouraging turn, a stronger light of good is lit. These times of challenge bring us opportunities to prioritize our faith. When life is easy, it’s also easy to take Him for granted. With what many of us seem to be facing today, at so many levels, we have a multitude of opportunities to turn toward our Abba for refuge, to be reminded of Him. And that is a blessing.

There is no doubt evil is loosed in this world, down to the smallest evidence, as small as a pinky. Yet the smallest challenge, whether it be health, emotional, relational, or societal, if left unaddressed, can become a serious problem. It is on each of us to do the work. And if we consistently remind ourselves of the Power of Him, our Abba, our Yeshua who withstood it all, we will see that He is here with us. As life becomes difficult we are reminded how much we need Him. And as we once again are made aware of that life giving fact, as we put Him front and center in our consciousness, forces of negativity have no power over us. Person by person, relationship by relationship, community by community, society itself, can continue to work toward the good that He wants for all of us.

Shabbat shalom.

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