By Luann Albanese
There are times when my mind wanders away from my passions and spiritual journey and I ask God to pull me back and show me where He wants me to be and to use me for His purpose. There are so many needs and suffering in the world around me and within the lives of people that I love most in the world. Most times, I ask myself, where do I begin and what if I fail trying? It is during these times I realize how important support and encouragement means in our lives. I have learned and I am stilling learning to trust that God is the only source of my strength. When God’s support and encouragement comes to me, it comes in the feeling that I can do anything I put my mind to. I feel stronger when I focus on God walking and working right along with me.
Since I am human, there are times, even knowing that God is walking and working with me in which I find myself in need of support and encouragement from people who are closest to me on earth. Although friends and loved ones, church family, etc. are a good source of support and encouragement, they are all human, and are not always capable of recognizing the needs of their brothers and sisters in Christ. I think this is because sometimes people just get caught up in the politics of the church and the differences of opinions of those whom they do not agree. I think everyone, including me is guilty of this at one time or another. For me, the closer I feel to God, the less all of that means to me. I understand that People become distracted with these things instead of focusing on what we are really put on this earth for and that is to love and care for one another, support and encourage one another in all that we do. This is what I pray for. I have sought it out and have found it in one way or another, but there are those times when I have felt alone and let down in. Then of course, I allow the feelings of discouragement to set in and then the world gets to me. It is the enemy then, who feeds on it and comes after me full force trying to break down my shield and steal my joy. But thanks to God’s Saving Grace, it isn’t long before the Holy Spirit intervenes and saves me from myself once again reminding me that I can rest my mind and my heart as God loves me and is always with me. Yes, one way or another, through a kind word from a friend, something I may hear in a sermon, at bible study, a hymn, or a dream somehow the Holy Spirit shakes me up and gets me back on track.
I want to serve God where He wants me to serve and where I am needed. That is my goal and my priority in life which is why I spend the majority of my time within and beyond the church and with those who are in need of my support and encouragement and even simply spending time working closely with his creation in gardens. I am still learning that the only way for me to achieve this goal is to continually pray for God to be with me in all I do in His name, to protect me from being led astray. It took me a very long time to understand who I am in God’s heart. I know He loves me and I trust Him to keep my spirit safe.
Thank you God, for sending me your Holy Spirit to guide me and put me back on track when I fall off. Help me to be strong in my faith and to rely on you for strength when my journey becomes challenging.
I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.