Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Yesterday Rich Butler spoke of disciples being blinded to Jesus' presence because of their grief. The moment he said that my mind turned to the number of times in my life when grief has blinded me to HIs presence or to a truth that I have strayed from.
Grief has several stages, there is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages do not come neatly or necessarily in that order. They also can recycle through. The first four stages can hinder clear vision of what has happened. In my life there have been times when circumstances begat anger and depression. In those times my eyes were so focused on what angered me or caused me to go into a stage of depression that I was blind the presence of Jesus. There were several things that helped me work through it. One was God's word. David's words [Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.] My mind also remembers God's words to Jacob in Genesis 28:15 [Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.] Even in the darkest valleys of my (and your) life, God is with me. God's words to Jacob turn my mind from negativity to remembering that when I accepted Christ, I was given several promises. These were forgiveness of my past, to be empowered to face my present, and the security of eternal life with Him in my future. These promises are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
The other thing that has helped me take the blinders off are brothers and sisters in the Lord. I wish I could say that I have the fortitude to always turn to God's word on my own when I have been angry or depressed, but the unvarnished truth is that sometimes it has required a brother or sister in faith to gently guide me back to HIs word. Sometimes the nudge has not been gentle because what was required was a kick in the rump but the kick was given in love.
Let us strive to do two things as part of our daily efforts. One is not to focus on the negative things that may be happening in our lives but focus on the marvels of His word. The other is to seek to remind each other each day that we are not alone and that the burdens of our lives are made lighter when we help each other carry them.
Have a blessed Monday