Today's "Daily Bread" from St. David's

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Daily Bread

"We are pressed on every side by troubles,
but we are not crushed.
We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 
We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.
We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 
Through suffering,
our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus
so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."

- 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (New Living Translation)

Our picture today is of "Pirate" - the pet cat of Dorothy Barritt's granddaughter.  I've always been more of a dog-person, but I must admit that I do admire how amazingly resilient cats are - that no matter what predicament they get themselves into, they seem to somehow always find a way to get out of it ... and without it really bothering them.  As they say, "cats always land on their feet."  Physically, I understand this to mean that cats have an inborn balancing system that helps them orient themselves in the air when they fall.  But also personality-wise, I think cats seem to have the temperament that allows them quickly bounce back ... and move on ... and keep going - that no matter how rough the patch or how tight the spot, cats seem to always land on their feet. "Resilience" is this process of facing adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or extreme stress and "bouncing back" and "moving on" and "keeping going," without becoming too negatively affected by the experience.  It is the recognition that we all have difficulties in life, ... that we all experience pain and hardship and sorrow, ... that we all carry scars from old wounds.  But while these scars may remind us where we've been, they don't have to dictate where we're going.  In fact, may of our greatest heroes and the people we admire most are those who faced much adversity in their life, but who didn't give up.  Instead they kept on going until they overcame their troubles, and then went on to achieve other great successes. We hear stories of heroes like these in the Bible, as well - people who, despite difficult circumstances and even flaws in their character, were able to be used by God, because they had the resilience to press on, even amid tough circumstances.  For example, we have the story of Joseph in the Old Testament.  Envied by his brothers, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, where, after faithfully working hard, he was falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison.  With all the pain and betrayal and treachery he experienced, he must have felt discouraged and angry and bitter (and rightly so).  Yet with his faith, Joseph was able to find the strength to press on, to keep bouncing back, ... and God was able to use him for much good. The story of Joseph reminds us that we can't determine what the future may hold - unforeseen circumstances and conditions (like a global pandemic) always arise.  But the story also teaches us that life doesn't end just because life changes - that with our faith and the blessings of God that are all around us, we can be resilient - we can find the strength to bounce back ... and move on ... and keep going.  As the old saying goes, "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only option."  So, I believe we will get through this, ... we will land on our feet, ... and God has a lot more good to do through us.

-- Pastor Micah

P.S. - One of the blessings God gives us to help us be more resilient is our pets, because they provide us with a diversion from our stress, they make us laugh, and they help us relax and reflect and regain our strength.  So, today I'm offering our:

St. David's "Lovable Pet" Photo Challenge.

I'm asking people to take a photo of their lovable pets (below is an example of my dogs).  Then email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or text (347 649-5282) the picture to me.  I'll collect everyone's photos, compile them, and then share them in a "Daily Bread" next week.  Thanks.


Daily Song

***  Click on the image to the left to hear the song.

“Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”

- Anatole France

I have to admit that this particular picture was extremely difficult for me to write about today. One year ago, almost exactly to the day, I found out that my little baby Jooja had advanced untreatable abdominal cancer, and that I was going to lose her. I was so blessed and lucky that I was able to get to spend one more week with her, loving her and holding her and telling her how much she meant to me and how special she had made me feel throughout all of our years together. And then I had to let her go. Anyone who’s ever had to say goodbye to an animal knows just how excruciatingly painful it is to let go of your best friend, and how they take with them a little piece of your heart. Less than six months later, I lost my other little cat Olivia, and this time I had less than three hours to say goodbye. And my heart still aches for both of them.Anyone who has ever been blessed enough to have an animal in their life knows that pets are not just animals. They quickly become a part of our families. A part that will love you no matter what, that will forgive you if you forget to clean the litter box that day or stop by the store for their favorite food, and will always be there whenever you need them, usually without even having to call. They bring out the best in us, the kindest, gentlest and most loving parts of who we are. They lift us up when we are down. They make us laugh when we are sad. They comfort us and make us feel loved when we feel alone. They truly are our best friends. And just like that classic poster of the cat hanging from a branch saying “Hang in there!,” our pets help us to hang in there through everything life throws our way. Their love is truly unconditional, and very possibly the closest thing to God‘s love that we have here on earth.So in honor of my fur babies and all the other ones lost too soon, and in celebration of those we still have to love and snuggle with, I’d like to offer up James Taylor‘s classic song “You’ve Got a Friend.” Something about listening to it while thinking of your favorite furry friend brings an extra special little bit of meaning and poignancy to this beautiful song. I hope this video brings a smile to your lips, a happy tear to your eye, and some warmth and love to your heart 



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