April 18, 2012

When Hope is Scarce

There are days when my spirit soars, free from worry, like a bird on an updraft column of air, reaching a pinnacle of height and effortlessly soaring over all of creation. Then, like the bird, I have to come back down to earth.

Gravity is a force to be reckoned with, but so is despair.

Why is it that I can be so full of the Spirit and feel complete peace within my life one day, and wake the next day to a feeling of hopelessness hanging on my spirit like a heavy blanket weighing me down?

Where do we find hope when hope seems lost? How can we restore our peace when hope is scarce?

Certainly we can’t live on the highest peaks of euphoria all the time, but neither do we want to wallow in the valley of despair.

How do you restore balance in your life?

I know there is joy that restores my spirit when I sing praises to my Lord. My thoughts shift to God and pull me out of my troubles, and I am reminded of His great Love. Yet I don’t always remember that just to lift my voice and sing will be restorative to my spirit. And sometimes I don’t feel like singing through my sadness. But when I sing, I am instantly transformed back to a child of God, loved by my Heavenly Father, and free from worries and cares.

There is a certainty that a walk in nature will make me smile, as I feel oneness with all living things of the natural world. Perhaps it is because the focus moves out of myself and into the world that I am restored. I walk along, one foot in front of the next, and the pattern becomes a soothing rhythm. 

The glorious wonders of nature surround me, and I feel connected to heaven and earth. Soon I realize I am smiling, and there is a song in my heart once again.

For me, these methods help to restore my inner peace. If I can’t get outside, and I am feeling more introspective, I might turn to meditation for its restorative properties. Instrumental music playing softly helps to tune out the rest of the world, and a mantra of “I am well” or “I am healed” calms my spirit and allows a change of inner perspective.

Prayer and meditation are excellent methods of connecting with our inner selves and with God. Through prayer, we can share our troubles with God, and release them. Through meditation, our hope and wellness can be restored. 

As a young woman of twenty years of age, I saw mountains for the first time. It was through this natural beauty that God first whispered to my heart, and I began to believe in a higher power that ordered this natural world.

I’ve always been drawn to the words of the psalmist who wrote, “I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

There is power in knowing God is in the strength of the mountains, and peace in feeling His presence in the order of the natural world. Restoring our spirit and finding hope when it seems scarce is as easy as turning our thoughts to God and laying our burdens at His feet.

Releasing our pain and our worries to the One who knows all, sees all, and is Infinite, lifts our burdens revealing our pure inner self which only seeks peace and knows hope is the pathway to finding that peace.

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