Hope and Future
Last month, I introduced the issue of uncertainty. I wrote about Joshua who took over for Moses as the Israelites went into Canaan, promised to them by their Lord. As the next leader of his people, Joshua was confronted with the crises and concerns of the people – as well as his own. Despite the dangers and uncertainties that laid before them, Joshua was blessed to be in contact with the Lord, who promised to accompany Joshua and encouraged him to be strong and courageous.
During this Coronazeit (time of the Corona pandemic) I have struggled to remain either of these things. Being strong is one thing, but when was the last time I was courageous? I do not have a direct line of communication to the Almighty, therefore how am I – how are we – to become or remain strong for our families and friends? When an emergency suddenly takes place, what will we draw upon to give us courage to do what is difficult or painful, but is necessary?
During this past month, I was confronted with one of those emergencies. A situation which would require me to expose my perceived weakness to others to find a solution. But I did not feel strong enough to reach out to others. At the time, I thought I was more comfortable suffering in silence. I told myself I did not want to burden other people with my problems. After all, all the people with whom I am close are dealing with their own lives – lives made significantly more difficult by the Corona virus and the safety measures we must follow to protect our families, the others we meet, and ourselves. I would feel guilty leaning on other suffering people during this time. It felt easier to stay isolated in my apartment and spare anyone else from my added difficulties.
Over time, I have collected a variety of books, bibles, and assorted religious art. This art includes simple devotional messages. One of these is a quotation from the Book of Jeremiah. Although I don’t often look through these items, this one simple, framed quotation caught my eye. “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” After reading this message several times, I sat and prayed, focusing on the text. Later I felt the courage to reach out to a close friend here in Berlin. A day later he called back to suggest some unexpected options. As I detected a light at the end of my dark tunnel, I followed though and found the help I needed – despite my initial fear and guilt. More on this topic in the next English Corner.
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