To America, with love

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My dear American neighbors,

There is fear in the air, there is despair in many hearts, there is unrest and anxiety and tension, but I implore you – do not be afraid. No matter what happens, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and come tomorrow, He will still be ruling over all. His promises are sure. If you are feeling swept up into the frenzy of uncertainty and apprehension may I invite you to meditate on the soul-calming, life-giving words of Psalm 146? Although these words were written before your country even existed, the ink might still be wet for all their relevance to tomorrow’s events.

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
    in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the alien
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

Truly, there is nothing new under the sun! Everyone is calling this an “historic election,” but the hearts of men are not all that different than the previous election, or the one before that, or the one before that. Our hope does not rest on the knowledge that America will remain strong, that everything will be ok. Quite the opposite – our hope rests on the knowledge that if and when America crumbles and everything is not ok, we have a kind and gracious Saviour who delights to save. His rule is the one that matters, and it is loving, absolute, and eternal. Place your trust in Him, bring your concerns before His throne, and commit yourself to an ever faithful God.

With love and prayers from your neighbour to the North,

Kate

P.S. This letter was partially inspired by this wonderful post and song by Steven Curtis Chapman, which you can find on his FB page. God is on the throne!

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Closed Today for Temple Maintenance

Today was supposed to be a Super Productive, Get Ready For Next Week, Do All The Things kind of day. I woke up after sleeping quite well, thinking, “Ok, let’s do this!” and then was promptly and unceremoniously smothered in a blanket of fatigue. I get these days, sometimes. For me it’s just the way things are, a part of life.

[For the record, though, struggling with fatigue really sucks. You know you should have energy, having just slept for eight hours, eaten a balanced breakfast, and given yourself time to ease into the day (or, alternatively, jumped into the day right away in a vain attempt to jump-start your body). But you don’t, or, as Michael Scott would say, should, maybe, but shornt.

Sometimes this feels like someone is sucking away all my energy, or like I’m being crushed under the weight of fatigue and barely have enough energy to hold up my head (these are definitely the worst days and unfortunately this is not a hyperbolic description, but thankfully this hasn’t happened recently), or like today, where fatigue feels like a fog or a wet blanket that’s enveloping me. Can’t quite seem to outrun or escape the fog, can’t quite get my arms free to disentangle myself from the blanket.]

So, today will probably not be a Super Productive Day after all. Whenever I decide not to go into full-on battle against my fatigue, guilt is often not far behind. Saturdays are not supposed to be a day off for me. (As a rule, I rest on Mondays to recover from the weekend, which I always find exhausting.) This was not the plan for today, and there is (as always) work to be done! Shouldn’t I be fighting harder? Aren’t I just being lazy? Isn’t this just an excuse to take it easy?

But, today I was reminded that we are called to work according to the strength God provides. And that I have to measure myself according to the way God has made me, with all my weaknesses and physical limitations, and not in comparison to anyone else. Tomorrow will be another busy day and I need to prepare for that by, as a friend once put it, “taking care of the temple!”

So, today I’m doing just that. I will do what I can, with the strength I’ve been given, and apart from that I will rest. It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is also a way to honour God with my body, by respecting the way He has made it, by embracing the reality of what is/is not reasonable or healthy for me, by doing less of what is less important (deep-cleaning my house) so I can do more of what is more important (spending time worshipping and serving God tomorrow, through fellowship with my church family).

Today will be a productive day after all, then – because productivity doesn’t always look like ticking items off a list, flurried activity, and doing All The Things. Sometimes, productivity looks like inactivity, just being, resting, doing only a little, and maintaining the temple.