Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.  Psalm 146:5.  

Stand firm, and you will win life.  Luke 21:19  

I love living in Minnesota, and one of the reasons for this is the definitive signs that we get for the changing of the seasons.  Colorful leaves and cooler temperatures in the fall, the first snowfall of winter, blooming tulips and ice-out on the lakes in spring, and hot days in summer.  Each season brings its own delights and challenges.  Our part is to change and adapt.  Some folks dread winter so they change by heading south.  Others don’t like the hot summers so they stay in their air conditioning and venture out only if necessary.  We all adapt in our own way.  

Psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, physically, we also endure changes in our lives.  Happy is the person who breezes thru life, accepting changes, adapting to new realities, and learning about oneself easily.  But not all of us are so fortunate.  Trials come, sometimes overwhelming in their urgency, disturbing our psyche and threatening to unbalance our fragile selves. 

In Luke 21, Jesus tells his disciples what will happen in the end times and what may happen to them before that.  Imagine how disturbed they must have been by that news, how frightened, how disbelieving.  Then he says, “Stand firm”.  And we know what happens to those disciples as they obey and spread the good news.

It is hard to imagine that we will be persecuted and tested in similar ways.  But we certainly will have, do have, have had times in our lives when we were faced with something that threatens to undo us.  Maybe the darkness in our minds shuts out the light, maybe we lose all hope, maybe we feel like we can’t go on.  

There is always help out there if we are willing to be vulnerable and find it.  The support of friends, doctors and therapists who listen.  And Jesus saying to us, “Stand firm and you will have life”.  He will not let us go, his beloved children.  Faith and trust are our lifelines.  Hang on tight. 

The seasons come and go.  As fall leads to winter, we follow.  God has ordered it so. 

Lord God, hear our prayer.  Strengthen our faith and trust in you.  We believe.  Thank you.  Amen  

Joan Perlich