How to keep the faith?

"Remain confident in the survival of all positive and negative life experiences."

Dear Bloggers,

It's not that I am deeply religious but I've planned to read the Bible once in my life and I planned to get a better understanding of fellow believers.
If you have the feeling that you have lost everything and it is getting hard to stay positive, you will start looking for getting out of this misery.
If your life slides down towards the valley; you will try to slow it down. But if your mind starts slipping too it is going to be a bit of a different story. I am luckely a realistic kind of person and I can quite quickly adapt to these kind of crisis situations.
Anyway no matter what happens it will give some kind of stress. The biggest challenge is to look for another job as I simply cannot sit back and relax.

The Old Sailor appears no longer to feel safe on the spot where he always was safe. A very familiar feeling when something bad happens to you: literally and figuratively as the ground beneath your feet is sinking away and you from one moment to the other lost all grip. For me such a feeling is recognizable.

And the Bible poet writes: In you oh Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness, turn your ear to me, save me! The poet cries out as the most important thing that should be right in this situation. That there is someone who does justice to you and at least listens to you. You need an ear, which turns to you and will look at you now and what is involved here. A line below the poet asks: Be to me a protective rock? This man feels in a valley, which can be hardly any deeper, a dip where he never will come out. It suddenly calls on me, that this can be seen as my situation.

Only a long way later in the psalm it is the poet that realizes how bad it actually was with him or her. That is why we read, "I am become as broken crockery. A striking image: yourself being the pottery a pitcher, as a part of an expensive dinner set. So worth the trouble of respect: very, cool, healthy. And now suddenly broken, there are cracks in it. Always have felt yourself healthy, suddenly you where not quite sure. For example to live with it always the threat that the humiliating pain comes again as in the beginning. Not sure more of the job, the relationship where you were happy. Your partner to let go, or worse, losing him or her to death.

Broken pottery? never fully and enjoy carefree. Another long way away in the Psalm says the poet? But I trust in You, O Lord, I say: Thou art my God. My times are in your hand? Times, it says there. Time in the plural! Time as a whole firm, solid as a rock. But times, as a succession from one time to a different time, which also wrote Ecclesiastes. A time of joy, a time of sorrow. A time to weep, a time to laugh. Times of ups, downs of times. And all those times together in the hand of the Eternal. Also”My” times. The time of once my health and now became suddenly the time to care about.

The poet of Psalm knows all about this. The poet does not say in this psalm: it happens to me from God. The poet says: there is a hand, which held all the time, held it together, namely: the hand of the Eternal. That contradicts a blind faith in a kind of fatal, crippling fate. Confidence in the Hand that holds you all times of your life around, can create space for it anyway to keep.

We people carry our biography with us. The question is: Do I want to learn something from my life experiences? And dare I ask to be like: where am I?, Am I maybe too much?, Do I enjoy enough?, And where do I go? And last but not least, I dare my time, so my life. My times of ups and my times of downs. My times as a succession from one time to a different time. Can I through the lives of all my positive and negative life experiences remain confident in the Hand? Who holds me and keeps all these times of my life going?

For even as the poet at the end of Psalm 31 wrote to others to say: ”Be strong, all ye that hope in the Eternal” May it be so. I had never imagined such things were in the Bible. Do not think that I'm suddenly converted, but I understand better now that people can draw strength from their faith if the story is explained in the right way.

The Old Sailor,


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