Despite the challenges of life, you are surrounded by the circle of God’s love. God is not the source of tragedy or pain. But, even in adversity, God is your companion, providing guidance, care, and inspiration.
The baby boomers have discovered mortality. They have also discovered economic insecurity. Many boomers, who anticipated lively and adventurous retirements and dreamed of a world without limits, are now pondering working into the indefinite future. Others, like me, have been restructured out of professional positions and wonder if they will ever return to their chosen professions. Baby boomers are not alone in revising their maps of reality to include adversity and uncertainty.
We live between two poles: life is uncertain and there are no guarantees of health or prosperity and life is also creative and adventurous. Still, despite the insecurities of life, we have been promised that we live in the circle of God’s care and that all shall be well.
When my son was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in 2007 just a few months after his wedding, I was personally devastated. For the first few weeks as he began treatments, the only prayer I could muster on my sunrise walks was “Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.” Later, as hope returned, I sung a hymn from my childhood, “Great is thy faithfulness, O dear Creator, morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed thy hand has provided. Great is thy faithfulness, God unto me.” In December, we rejoiced in celebration of “baby’s first Christmas” with our grandson and the power of life to overcome death.
C.S. Lewis notes that the great religions emerged before the invention of pain relievers. When the apostle Paul penned the words, “nothing can separate us from the love of God,” he was most likely in prison, having suffered in the course of his ministry imprisonment and physical harm. Life is change and there are no guarantees of success or good health, but God is with us, not as a distant spectator but an intimate and adventurous companion, who feels our pain and rejoices in our celebrations. What would it be like to meet the world’s challenges knowing that nothing can separate you from God’s loving care? How would your life change if you realized that God seeks wholeness and beauty in each moment of your life?
Nothing can separate me from the love of God.
(A particular life circumstance) cannot separate me from the love of God.
God is my companion in every situation.
God is my companion (in a particular situation).
In the Celtic tradition, pilgrims often drew a circle around themselves when they embarked upon their journeys. The “caim” or “encircling” reminded the pilgrim that he or she was always in God’s circle of love. In the course of the day, take time to circle yourself in your imagination or draw a circle around yourself with your index finger as you turn in a clockwise direction, repeating the affirmation, “Nothing can separate me from the love of God.”
Whenever you begin to feel anxious or enter a situation that you perceive as threatening, imagine yourself encompassed by the protective circle of God’s love.
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