by Sue Ann Powell
I don’t know who said “If it weren’t for bad news, there’d be no news at all! The news of the last several weeks certainly illustrates that point—Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, Kansas, Nice, Munich— all have been headlines on t.v. and in the newspapers. I find myself feeling stressed and fearful of the future. It bothers me when I hear hateful exchanges between people in positions of power, and it sickens me when the actions of a few can bring down reputations and futures and even the lives of those who are trying to do what is right.
John K. Graham, M.D. included this statement in an article he wrote about the healing power of prayer and meditation: “What we think and the attitudes of our heart, our emotions, our beliefs, our doubts and fears—all have an impact on our body through the immune system, which can be shut down by stress, anger or fear.”
In the midst of all the negative vibes that constantly surround me, the thing I try to hold on to is strengthening my faith, and that is not easy. Norman Vincent Peale has put together a booklet entitled “Faith Builders”, and his suggestion for building faith is to know that God loves you and to remind yourself of that over and over until you know it for a fact. “In building your faith emphasize the great truth that no matter how dark it gets, how lonely you feel, or how you may experience rejection, you are not alone.. Repeat every night and whenever difficulty comes, “I am not alone. God is with me.”
I remember the last time I rode a roller coaster and how frightened I was. I really thought I was going to die! But I remember thinking God will take care of me and I felt myself relax. I didn’t enjoy the ride and as I said, it was the last time I rode the roller coaster, but I remember the peace I felt knowing I was not alone.
One of my favorite hymns that helps strengthen my faith is “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”:
“I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day; I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine,
For its skies may turn to gray. I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said: And today I’ll walk beside Him, For He knows what is ahead.
Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand; But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.”
I am reminded that I have not been practicing my faith; more and more of my thoughts and verbal expressions have a negative connotation. By being more aware of the effect my attitude has on my health and well being, I am going to make a genuine effort to practice positive attitudes, do the best that I can, and trust the outcome to God. As Dr. Peale says, “Practice stretching your faith…..stretch it to Him.”