Summary: Jesus power to free us is far more comforting to our hearts, minds, even our souls than the power that the fear of impending death holds over us.
FOR JESUS’ LOVE 13
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (September 23, 2017)
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (St. John 21:15-17, King James Version [Christ’s charge to Peter]}
Greetings in the Holy Name of Jesus,
My sisters and brothers, meandering---that we are, wandering aimlessly through our life’s journey, staying the course, for the storm of yesterday that threatened us, is not the storm of today that will not let us go, for it follows no man and will not let man lead it anywhere, in words or deeds. Is that the reasoning for such meandering in the anger---for some uncontrollable anger that we felt when we faced the storms, literally speaking, storms named Harvey, Irma, Maria, Jose, and possibly Lee of such enormous proportions that it left us speechless in fear---meandering---aimlessly questioning everything that we should have judged from the onset when the issue firstly presented itself in our lives---rambling on about everyone and everything, without cause and without purpose, simply because we could not conquer the fear of sudden death we felt when the storm faced us? Well, let us, deal with some of those leadership issues that we now want to judge since we meander as a result of the storm and the fear of the impending storms on the horizon. Yes, the systems of life that manipulate our movement through organizations---we all know how bound we are in the justice system, the defense system, the education system, the medical system, and the social system---all systems that now hold power over us as we meander for fear of the power of the storms to stop our lifecycles, right in this time and place in our lives.
How many gray hairs did we get from the fear of it all? Did time stop completely in our lives? We were not able to maintain our schedules or engage 24 hours seven days a week as we like for relentlessly the storm hovered near and over us threatening persecution, for sins? Did you self-analyze your life, counting every sin instead of
counting every blessing? Did you name every sin one-by-one instead of naming every blessing one-by-one?
Did our self-analysis leave us faint, utterly exhausted, in our fighting mode like those who picked up their weapons and reportedly went outside in the storm to shoot at it---fighting our way out of the paper bag of anxiety---anxiety-ridden, stricken ill---not knowing how to get ourselves out of the place where we go when we feel fear of enormous pressures looming---hopeless oppression forcing feelings of “ between a rock and a hard place” down deep in the bit of our bellies, down deep in the root of our hearts, and deeply entrenched in our psyche---almost driving us temporarily mad---possibly rendering us incapable of taking care of ourselves. Let us take charge of ourselves, for Christ sakes, for the well-being of maintaining our best selves. The systems that we judge were, indeed, flawed before the storm and remain flawed since the storm with malpractices---the same malpractices of human nature that created the flawed systems in the first place. Yes, those dreadful systems are full of a whole lot of ill-intentions even when you want to think the best of our knowledge bases that those systems were created with good-intentions, to help us. We circumvent and continue the same argument of the rich getting richer, the poor paying the price for the masses---nations-by-nations left to defend for themselves without hope of making a difference for their circumstances prevent any onward marching, since the peoples march without their God.
Is it possible for nations of such numbers that we purport today to exist without the world systems, now that they control the movement of our lives? I heard someone ask for food stamps as soon as possible. Are they giving out food stamps like they gave them out when Hurricane Andrew devastated life in the southern Florida communities? I know I tried to eat my stress away---make sure I filled my belly in case I starved for days without power of electricity to prepare meals.
Remarkably, we are ill, whether we face our sickness, or not. Let us rather dwell in the love of God and the healing grace of Christ Jesus---to get over and conquer the fear that binds us. I do not want to meander, too long or go too far in my meandering, for God is drawing us to him and we must let go and let God draw us to the refuge of Christ Jesus, for safe keeping, until we meet Jesus, again. I know that your story of insufferable pain is so many times more than mine. Let us pray for healing. I know it is not your fault.