Our hands are so very expressive! In our daily lives, our hands lifty, carry, work, and play. They soothe the aches of others, and they keep the beat during a particularly lively song.
Have you ever thought about how those same hands can help make your prayer more powerful?
You can punctuate your obedience to God by folding your hands and keeping them in your lap. You can put an emphasis on your praise by raising your hands high, to Heaven.
Your hands can be held palms up, to show you are ready to accept the abundant blessings and Word of God.
You can clasp another’s hands, to increase your feeling of fellowship and the strength that flows from it.
Above all, don’t sit on your hands when you pray! Use them to enhance those prayers in your heart. Heart and hands – lifted and open!
Joy and peace,
If you are really down, and challenges are heaping themselves upon challenges, then you might find yourself thinking, “Can’t I have just one good day?” Yup, I’ve been there myself -and it’s okay to ask that question, borne of frustration and perhaps a little amazement that “yet another” thing could go wrong in an already “wrong” life.
At those times, I’ve allowed myself a shoulder shrug, a look upward and a quizzical eye. I’ve allowed myself to raise my voice in questioning. And then, I’ve refocused to something that, I usually find, turns the situation around.
That refocusing isn’t “rocket science.” It just means that I look at life as it is, with all of its proverbial warts, and resolve to find something good, even one small thing, that I can expand on in my mind and heart, to take the rough edges off of the present day. I try not to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow’s going to be what it is. But, I can make it a little better if I take the present day and try to squeeze out every ounce of good there is to be had.
To find the “good,” I try not to turn to those momentary temptations that might seem so on the surface, but might bring problems of their own. Overeating chocolate, for example. Lessening my exercise program instead of maintaining it. I pray that God will lead me to the good, fill my heart with it, even if my outer day is troublesome. And, the most wonderful thing about doing this?
God never lets me down.
Even if the day in question is still overall filled with tough issues, if I can find the good, then the day is not lost. Rather, the day is saved, and I feel much stronger for it!
Joy and peace,
Ah, the bliss of putting my feet up!
Throughout the day, our feet take a beating. And if we have joint issues “higher up,” in the knees, for example, or the hips, those precious feet can truly begin to feel abused and neglected.
Throughout the Bible, we read of people walking – walking out of Eden, walking into the Promised Land, Jesus walking on his ministerial way. There was scarcely another way to travel for most people, and I have to believe that the rough, rocky ground (no paved roads, then) was brutal to everyone’s feet. But, there are also passages that tell of the ritual of foot-washing, and these highlight for us the importance of taking precious care of one’s feet.
Today, TLC Tuesday, take a moment to look down and not up. Reflect on the miles and miles that your feet have walked, and do something positive to take are of them and, in so doing, taking care of yourself!
Joy and peace,
Many of you know Lisa J. Copen as the Founder of RestMinistries, an online resource for people living with chronic pain and illness of the invisible kind (www.restministries.org). Each year, Lisa sponsors an “Invisible Illness Awareness Week,” and I’ve been honored to participate in it several times, with workshops and interviews.
Lisa is also an author of several books on chronic illness and, this month, she will have a new and different book available to people who might feel that, with their health challenges, they are having trouble praying.
“Refresh Me, Lord,” is a collection of prayers written by Lisa and intended to help readers get closer to God through prayer. It touches on many of the themes I covered in my book, “Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness,” and also on some that I have no experience with, but Lisa does, such as motherhood, being a spouse, and enduring surgeries and mobility issues (especially poignant is her prayer about being uncomfortable with the visual image of using a walker).
Lisa’s heart comes through strongly in her prayers, and her faith shows the refinement of someone who has endured – and come through – more than one dark valley, still with faith and still with hope.
“Refresh Me, Lord,” is available through the RestMinistries website and online booksellers.
Joy and peace,