Ken’s e-Pistle

August 2, 2023

Many folk I know tend to live out their days with low-level anxiety.  They seem to be preoccupied with slights from the past and concerns about the future.  Even when things are going well, they find something to worry about.  Beyond that, they are never satisfied with the blessings they receive.  If they win the billion-dollar lottery, they’ll ruin it by wishing it was one billion and one dollars.  As my Cajun cousin likes to say, “He’d complain if you hung him with a new rope.”

I’m pretty sure that this is not the textbook way we are designed to live.  In Isaiah 65, we read, “The sovereign Lord says, “My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts.”  Some I know would amend that to read, “My slaves will moan out of the misery of their days.”

We, of course, are called to stand with those who are suffering. Part of the task of standing with folk is to help them stand until they can once again stand on their own.  We are here to help them move beyond being a victim to becoming a victor.  Still, there are some to seem to remain victims throughout their days. A wise Ruling Elder a few churches back once spoke of a lady in the congregation, “She has enjoyed poor health for many years.”

Many years ago I took a Water Safety Instructor course. One of the most important lessons which we learned was to keep at least an arm’s distance from someone panicking in the water, lest they drown you in their thrashing.  I think that there is a lesson there for us as we seek to minister to the chronically distressed. We can stand beside them but always  be careful not to become them.

And always remember to laugh whenever we can.  It is truly the hand of God on the shoulder of a troubled world!

I bid you peace!