WELLBEING FOR THE SOUL
Wellbeing has become the ‘in’ term during the past two years. In many schools Wellbeing has become part of the curriculum, providing information and guidance to protect and strengthen students’ mental and emotional health. Articles on wellbeing are included in magazines and on TV where both men and women are encouraged to take time-out, to put themselves first for a change, and to see themselves in a positive way.
Right now, organisations like ‘Life Line’ are being inundated with calls from people who are suffering from acute anxiety, or are in families where the impact of Covid19 has led to increased violence and fear. It seems that people’s mental and emotional health is at greater risk than ever before.
Of course, being a Christian does not mean that we are immune to anxiety, or despair, or feelings of loneliness as we live in isolation. Indeed, our very faith can be undermined if we ask ourselves where God is in all this, and this can impact on the wellbeing of our soul.
However, when I think back to the darkest moments in my life, it is clear that God has provided all that we need for the wellbeing of our souls – and that when this is in place, wellbeing flows through our whole being, including our minds and hearts.
Firstly, God has provided us with the scriptures. As usual, God’s advice is the opposite of what we might expect! For example, in Philippians 4:4-9, we are told to ‘Rejoice in the Lord always … do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’ Then we are told to focus our thoughts on things that are lovely. It seems that, in all circumstances, we can choose how we respond.
Secondly, God has provided us with his Holy Spirit who, as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:22, dwells in us, and whose gifts include love, joy and peace – especially joy which, unlike happiness, in not dependent on what is happening at the time. Joy exists deep within our being, which is why we can choose to rejoice. It is our assurance that God is always with us.
And thirdly, God has provided us with the gifts of worship and each other. I love Psalm 95 which invites us to ‘Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.’ It is wonderful to praise God together each week at Church.
I am so grateful to Stewart and all the people who are working hard each week to create our online services. I would be lost without the opportunity to worship knowing that our community is worshiping together if apart. I love to hear God’s word, to pray through the intercessions, and to enjoy ‘The Lost Sheep’ story! And of course, I love the songs. The only thing I miss is the Eucharist but, as we draw closer to Easter, we will be taken back to the Last Supper where it all began.
Thinking about the Rock reminded me of a good old Country and Western song sung by Kenny Rogers who died recently. Here’s a great version, especially for Stewart.
Standing on the Rock of your Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeh6gJL1aYI
With my love and blessings,