Look up!

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

“And looking up to heaven, he sighed …” (Mark 7:34)

When you sigh, your head droops and your focus shifts. Your mind races as you focus within, and you consider your emotions as you try and make sense of the situation. There is a resignation, a passive acceptance. How we might echo the Psalmist as he wrote: “my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away”(Psalm 31:10). Or perhaps we resonate with Job when he laments “for my sighing comes instead of my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water” (Job 3:24).

Jesus, though, when he sighed looked up to heaven. Where we might look down, he looked up. We might turn inwards, he turned outwards. Here is something to imitate, something from which we can learn. Our sighs might lead us further into ourselves, but Jesus looked to the Father. How different would it be if your sighs led your head to lift, and your heart to reach out in prayer? To focus on heaven, and not on earth?

There are many different things which might prompt a person to pray. Some give thanks, others ask for help in danger. Extremes of emotion, or abnormal situations, can cause prayer to form in the mind. Sighing, though, is rather more mundane. Sighs are the small drops which puddle into gloom. Let them also be a prompt for your prayer, and you will discover that sighs soon evaporate in the radiance of God. When you sigh, make sure to look up to heaven.

I am with you

“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land” (Genesis 28:15) - The path may be tough at times, we may even go through “the valley of the shadow of death”, but the Shepherd will ensure we get to our destination.

Psalm 34

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD;let the humble hear and be glad.Oh, magnify the LORD with me,and let us exalt his name together! (Psalm 34) - This is another of David’s ‘psalms on the run’, composed when he was on the run from King Saul. He had arrived in Gath, but his military fame had gone before him.

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