×

Monday over Coffee: Let it be said of them, they bore it well.

Need Some Words of Encouragement?


Let it be said of them, they bore it well.

I’ve been thinking not just about the uncertainty of the future, but trying to envision a future version of my family, our church, and myself, then asking God to take me there. You might want to try it. Picture a future version of your family that’s closer and kinder than it is now because you all lived through a global pandemic together. Consider a future version of our church that’s more relevant to our changing community because of what we’ve all endured. Think about a future version of yourself who, through suffering, has become more aligned with the themes expressed in the Sermon on the Mount.

At some point in the future, when this time is considered, as for me, my family, and my church, I want it to be said, they bore it well. As I consider how to get to that place, I picture a path ahead illuminated by the blessings of Self-Care, Self-Awareness, and Self-Giving.

Self-Care. There’s a reason the airlines tell you to put on your oxygen mask first in case of a loss in pressure and there’s a reason Jesus often went off by himself in the midst of his profound teaching and crucial healing work. We need sleep. We need quiet. We need sunshine. We need healthy food, exercise, and routines. We need peace of mind. We need plans and reliable expectations. All of these are hard to come by at the moment and thus require a higher level of intentionality. This week, care for yourself. You know what you need more than anyone. Whatever that is, move it up in the rotation.

Self-Awareness. Whether you know it or not; whether you name it or not; whether you stop to truly feel it or not; you're grieving right now. In one way or another, we’re all feeling loss of a measure of the life we thought we were going to have. Some of our social fabric is unraveling around this, and if we’re not self-aware about it and fail to name the losses we’ve experienced or anticipate experiencing, we tend to shift our negative feelings around this grief onto the wrong thing, or most often onto a person close to us. That is, what we often think is the “camel-breaking straw” is usually not the real thing we’re mad at. Identifying, naming aloud, and meditating a moment upon what’s actually producing the anxiety, the fear, the sorrow, and anger inside is the only way to keep our very real frustrations from coming out in the wrong way or on the wrong person. This is grief. It’s exhausting. Attend it. 

Self-Giving. When the walls close in on us both physically and emotionally, our vision narrows and we tend to see things only from our own point of view. When you feel yourself being edged into this corner, intentionally flip the script and volunteer to do something for someone else. It reliably re-expands our vision, air-lifting us out of the self-absorption zone. And I hasten to add, if you’re caring for kids, an elderly parent, serving our community, or looking out for someone who’s vulnerable, take a deep breath and realize this work which may seem routine to you, or “just part of your job,” is the very thing on which true religion is based. God bless you. 

God, form now in my mind and heart an image of the future — the one You desire for me. Take me there. Illumine the path ahead as I move through this difficult time and to this envisioned future.

And let it be said of me, I bore it well.

God, let me examine my days closely, consider my capacities, and know myself. Show me in this slow examination, what I must do to maintain my spiritual and physical health so that I may do the things I must do in this time of trial.

And let it be said of me, I bore it well.

I feel loss. I am grieving because of ___. I trust You, leaving this with You now, not that I may forget it, but that I may forge ahead less burdened. May I, with this burden in Your hands, instead carry the burdens of another You place in my path in this season. 

And let it be said of me, I bore it well.

Amen.

—Greg Funderburk


Subscribe to Blog Updates