Hang in there!” isn’t something one wants to hear after sharing a particularly severe trial or painful ordeal. It’s usually said as the person walks away, perhaps as an afterthought. Clearly the person doesn’t relate, doesn’t understand the pain, or can’t deal with it. And then there’s the time someone gets all scripture-quoting with advice, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 is a great verse, but does it really apply to our particular need or stance?

Being pretty literal in my approach to life and scriptures, I think of it in terms of stopping all action. I think in terms of taking time to plan next steps, or regroup from a previous event. It’s less physical, slowing down. Or I suppose it could mean simply to calm down. It’s a plea to consider G-d’s input on a particular direction. I stop and look around, and promptly get nervous after a short time wondering if when I am suppose to act next. I come upon a plan, a particular desire that has set upon me, and want to go, go, go.

One particular time I remember being totally unable to do anything to move ahead and out of a particularly bad situation in which I found myself. Change was needed, but it felt as though I was stuck in a bucket of cement. I had the means to literally move away, and into another job hundreds of miles away. But I felt totally unable to move. In the end, someone else took it upon themselves to act on my behalf; things came together and the change was thrust upon me—the cement fell away. I fretted too much the whole time, unfortunately. Take a look at how Peter handled things.

Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. Acts 12:6-9

Bound is what I’m talking about. Sometimes there are emotional chains that bind. For Peter, it was literal chains that bound him. What did Peter do? Fret about it? Nope! He fell asleep between two soldier while more soldiers guarded the prison doors. I like this next part a lot. A light illuminates the cell. Peter continues to sleep. The only way to wake Peter was getting stuck in the side. Then he’s ordered to dress, wrap his cloak around himself and to follow the angel. Peter thought he was still asleep, having a vision, so he got up and followed.

Peter wasn’t in a boat in the middle of a stormy sea. It wasn’t a matter of calming the waves and getting the strength to continue rowing. Peter was bound and needed rescuing. The Lord sent help. And Peter was unbound.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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