It is 3 a.m. and I am wide awake. This is the time when my mind struggles with all the “should haves,” “could haves,” “what ifs,” and lists not completed. My shortcomings and failures come back to haunt me in full force. This is my struggle, but I suspect that I am not alone.
Friends, we are living in a time when anxiety, self-doubt, and stress have overtaken our peace of mind. Isolation, loneliness, depression, violence, injustice, and a sense of helplessness will exacerbate our anxiety and stress. What do we do? Where do we turn, when we are wrestling day in and day out with all that is before us?
The best way for me to fall asleep, or fall back to sleep is to remind myself of who I am as a child of God and that I do not walk alone in this journey. So, I re-read the January 13 Devotion Calendar, You’re Already Amazing, Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be by Holley Gerth, “[In Christ] You’re not only amazing, you’re enough. You’re beautiful. You’re wanted. You’re chosen. You’re called. You have what it takes… not just to survive but to change the world.” I also re-read one of my favorite Scripture texts from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Then, I offer to God in prayer all my “should haves,” “could haves,” “what if’s,” and lists not completed, knowing that God hears me, walks with me, and shows me mercy. In the stillness of the night, I am assured of God’s abiding embrace.
Prayer: God of peace, we come to You weary, burdened, and needing rest. We offer ourselves to You seeking connection, calmness, hope, and comfort. Help us to be faithful and faith-filled. Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.