“Answer when I call, my saving God.
In my troubles, you cleared a way;
Show me favor, hear my prayer.
Know that the Lord works wonders for the faithful;
the Lord hears when I call out.
Tremble and do not sin;
upon your beds ponder in silence.
Offer fitting sacrifice
And trust in the Lord.
Many say, ‘May we see better times!
Lord, show us the light of your face!’
But you have given my heart more joy
than they have when grain and wine abound.
In peace I shall both lie down and sleep
For you alone, Lord, make me secure.”
(Psalm 4: 2, 4-9)
WordPress.com has a blog that offers a “Daily Prompt,” to help bloggers come up with ideas for a post. The one for May 19th, 2015, was “State of Your Year.” I am responding to it today.
What is the “State of My Year?” One could say it has been a mixed year so far, full of ups and downs. In January, I was laid off from my job. And I have found that the world of job searching, has changed a lot since I was last laid off from a position, over twenty years ago. Before, it was printing up a stack of resumes, getting a pile of envelopes, rolls of stamps, and mailing those resumes to potential employers, with a well crafted cover letter. Now, everything is online, job boards, recruiting agencies, even the company’s human resource department, it is all online. You are either uploading your resume to an application website, or e-mailing it as an attachment. There is rarely a telephone number, let alone the name of a person you can call to follow-up with. I applied online dozens of times over the past four and a half months. No takers yet; a least a few companies sent response e-mails. Now my previous employer provided me with a very generous severance package, but that will soon be coming to an end. Things may be getting a little tight soon. Am I worried? Yes, I am. Am I in despair? No, I am not!
The reason why is reflected in the above Pslam, I trust in the love of my God, and His care for me, and my loved ones. It does not mean that I expect some miracle (though that would be very nice.) But I know that in my experience of the Father’s presence in my life, I am not alone. I know that whatever the burden I may be carrying, Jesus is helping me the load. That no matter how dark or stormy it may get, the Holy Spirit is within me, bringing light, bringing hope, and bringing peace. And I know that through others, God is helping through this difficult time.
One of the highlights of this year came at the Easter Vigil, where I assisted as one of the Deacons. The church was almost pitch black, when the Pastor lit the fire, and lighted the Easter Candle. As my fellow Deacon and I process down the main aisle, the flame was shared with the congregation, each person lighting their candle. The church had hundreds points of light, which dispelled the darkness. I was given the role of chanting a great Easter hymn, “The Exsultet!” I had practiced singing this hymn, with varying degrees of success. But now, in that pulpit, as looked out into the church, I began to chant: “Exult, let them exult, the host of heaven…Be glad, let earth be glad as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King,…knowing an end to gloom and darkness.”
The Easter story, the Easter season speaks of hope, speaks of the love of God, which dispels all anxiety, all fear, and all darkness. Soon Christians will celebrate Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came in tongues of flame, into the hearts of the disciples in Jerusalem, and into our hearts today.
I do not know what the rest of this year will bring, but I know we will get through it okay.
State of Your Year