If you read my latest blog post, https://melanietalevski.com/2021/02/26/fully-present/ , you know that…
This being “fully present” has a flip side, doesn’t it? It may be all fun and games while we are being present in adventures and moments of lightheartedness… but what about being “fully present” in moments of duress or trauma… how in the world could that help?
I know in my own times of extreme challenge– focusing on the present moment has helped immensely. Wait– what? How does focusing on the moment you are so desperate to escape from cause you to feel better? Shouldn’t the opposite be true?
In a time I found myself emotionally stressed to a max, a mentor advised me to rub my index finger against my thumb. Sounds silly right? I thought so too. But that little action brings me back from thoughts and fears going a mile a minute into the sensation of a present moment– fingers rubbing against each other. Or another example is deep breathing. Concentrating on the air going in and out. Again, this little action brings grounding to a situation that felt like it was spiraling out of control. What about the advice to lean into the five senses… Could that help?
What do I hear, see, smell, taste, touch in this present moment?
It can feel silly at first but I found that when I take a moment to do this it helps me feel grounded and steers me away from the mental duress. It seems to give my mind a break and draws it back to the present moment– instead of light miles away in thought.
How do you do this? Seriously it is just simply going through the five senses and coming up with answers…
- What can I feel (touch)?
- What do I hear?
- What do I smell?
- What do I see?
- What do I taste?
I know for some this seems not only futile but also a bit “fruity” (silly) but believe me, it works! (yes, even in the most tumultuous situations)
Just like the tapping into the five senses physically, I have found I can tap into spiritual truths to ground me… Truths like:
- I know that God’s word is true (lay hand on the Bible— touch)
- I know that He listens and answers when I call (hear my voice call out to God— hear)
- I know His promises are true (write it, say it— see it!)
I know in hard times, just clutching my Bible to my chest reminds me that God’s word works and that God is here with me. Never am I alone.
Reminding ourselves of these spiritual truths provides grounding and allows room for God’s sweet Spirit to connect with us– perhaps even give a new perspective on things. He reminds us: He is the same God who was there in the past, He is here in the present. He will be found in our future as well. He is good. He loves us. Surely His plans for our lives will come to pass.
Now isn’t that a deep breath of fresh air?
Take a breath, dear friend, and know that a huge part of being “fully present” calls us to rest… rest on His love for us, His goodness, and trust that He is working all for good.
Isn’t that the way of a child? Even in some of life’s deepest situations–a child can lean up against his mother or father and rest. Doesn’t the Bible commend us to have child-like faith? (Matthew 18:3) Oh, how hard this is. Especially when I want to white knuckle every situation, take control, get answers, pull through. But Jesus calls in His gentle way,
“Come. Put your head on my shoulder. Rest.”
Perhaps we are resistant at first. Our eyes still lurk on that dark and scary situation in the corner.
He again beckons us, this time with hands outstretched. “Here, Dear One.”
With one eyeball on that “monster-like” problem we come closer, still distracted. “But Jesus…” we point to the problem.
He lifts us up on his lap and somehow we find ourselves looking full in his face. His eyes… so kind and gentle, his smile so sweet. His presence envelopes us and slowly, our focus shifts to him.
“There we go, that is much better, isn’t it?” His kindness comes as a balm to our souls.
We find ourselves feeling much more at peace… perhaps quite tired.
“Lay here and rest.” He pulls us to his chest.
We hear the gentle rhythmic beating of His heart.
And wearily, we do. Oh, so tired….
and the sleep we enter is deep, peaceful.
No perhaps that problem in the corner has not vanished as we hoped it would… but here, in Jesus’ arms, we realize it has lost all power over us.
Our burdens are no longer our own… Jesus carries them for us.
His yoke truly is easy, His burden is light.
That doesn’t mean all challenge cease, no in fact, a bigger battle may come.
But we can know that Jesus is with us. He is an EVER PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF NEED.
He’s not just in our present moment…. He is ever present and willing to help us.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.Psalm 46: 1
So, Dear One, snuggle close to Him. Yes, press your head to his chest until you hear his heart beating. It beats with love for you. Feel the gentle kindness of His attention on you– His arm hand holding you safe. He will pull us through. All we need to do in this moment is to rest and trust.
Yes, these tense, heartbreaking moments… they will pass. We press in and in our imperfect ways we call out for grace to trust Him more. Remember this hymn?
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
I’m so glad I learned to trust Him,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.Louisa M.R. Stead
Yes, may this be the call of our hearts this week. Call out to Him. He answers every time. He is more than enough to get us through all our past moments, present moments, and moments to come.
Snuggle safe, secure and cared for in the Father’s arms.
Until next time,
PS. This photo has always spoken to my heart. The girl in the picture looks similar to my daughter when she was younger. I remember in a period of specific hard times she faced, I found this sketch. It served as a wonderful reminder that it isn’t just her dad and I holding her… it is God holding her and He loves her so much deeper than we ever could. Know this truth for your children or grandchildren as well: Jesus is holding them and His love for them is so much wider and greater than all the love you have for them.
PPS. I also love this picture… how it reminds us of what goes on behind the scenes– what our natural eyes cannot see. May God remind us, give us glimpses into the spiritual realities of our days. We are never alone. We are safe, secure, held, and protected.