This blog from Hannah is the third part of a series on the 24-7 Prayer Scotland website.
It’s a practical encouragement to keep going and persevering in the challenges we’re currently facing:
Fix your Feet.
By which I just mean, find some solid ground. Sure, a lot of things have changed. The ground beneath our feet is, in many ways, shaking. Some days it feels like there will be a world pre-corona and post-corona.
But there are things you can still do to ground your feet, to sustain your soul.
Work out what those things are. Dealing with fear and anxiety is a marathon, not a sprint. Invest in some good training practices now and they will pay off.
Here are mine:
Breathing has become something of a spiritual discipline for me. I try and practice this every day. I basically try and slow my breathing down.
Physiologically it makes sense as you’re trying to increase the oxygen in your body to take you out of a state of adrenalin and panic. (Find a technique here.)
The game changer has been combining this breathing with prayer. Very simply, as I breathe in, I say ‘Abba‘ (which means ‘Daddy/Father’ in Aramaic, the words Jesus would have used) and then on the breath out, I say ‘I belong to you‘.
I find it helps me be aware of God’s presence with me in the panic, speaking it over my body and spirit.
Find somebody you can trust who will listen to you. Talk to them, out loud. Sometimes we can only access our pain (that lies underneath our fear) when we have a witness to it. Ask them just to sit and listen, not to ‘fix’ whatever you share, or rationalise it immediately (you can do that together afterwards).
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that with a person, try talking out loud to a chair, or writing a letter.
I continue to be surprised by how much an attitude of gratitude can change my day. It’s such a basic spiritual lesson - but again and again I find myself coming up short, empty of appreciation, thinking only of what I don’t have.
The witness of scripture shows us that God is a good God. And coronavirus has not changed that. We can still thank Him, we can still worship Him, we can still thank him for the mercies in our lives.
So today, how could you celebrate the life you do have? Could you list the things you love, or you’re grateful for today?
Emotionally healthy spirituality means that we can embrace both being ‘sorrowful yet always rejoicing’ at the same time (2 Cor 6.10).
It is not just okay, it is right that we do both.
Put your energy into the things you can be responsible for. All the helpful stuff you’ll already know about having a routine, doing exercise, finding time to do something that brings life every day, putting clear boundaries around your consumption of the news and social media.
Take a look at your day and make a plan.
5. Try again.
A while back, a lovely friend sent me a card. It said this: ‘Some days I amaze myself. Other days, I put my car keys in the fridge.’ After the eye roll and initial chuckle, I placed it on the shelf. I didn’t need the reassurance that day.
But a week later when I had a wobble, the card caught my eye again. ‘A fridge day,‘ I thought. That’s ok. Tomorrow is a new day.
Have a little grace for yourself. This is perhaps the most life-altering global circumstance you have seen in your lifetime. Some days you’ll amaze yourself. Other days, you’ll put your keys in the fridge.
Fix your feet. I reckon that Peter, one of Jesus’ best friends, had a lot of fridge days. He went on to be a founding apostle for thousands of churches. He messed it up, he got stuff wrong, but God’s grace was sufficient for him – even in the middle of his fear. And so, I think, with you.
Feel your fear. Find your faith. Fix your feet.
And may God’s peace be with you.
Thanks to 24-7 Scotland for giving us permission to repost this. You can read parts 1 and 2 over on their blog.
For more practical prayer tools, head to our Prayer Toolshed on the Prayer Course website.