I was struck by the words of the title for this post while listening in church today to Rev. Jay Rundell, the guest minister. The sermon title, "Gratitude in Trying Times", was about the struggles of the Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:4-13. The sermon itself was about all of us and our struggles. "Sometimes we need to listen," he said.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
A lot of sermons have been preached using this section of Philippians. A key point or two of the presenter today was the "Praying with Gratitude" in verse 6, the "Doing" in verse 9, and the "Sharing" of the struggle with others and their "Connection" to the struggle in verse 14.
Part of the message was to "Pray, Do, Share and Connect". Validate each other with action and shared struggles. Be human. Serve God. Don't expect life to be all rosy.
Do = "More than words" ("More than prayer")
Share = "More than us" ("More than me")
As we dialog with God through prayer and act on our discernments, we should dialog/ share with others about our struggles and mutually connect to allow reconciliation of our struggles, losses and griefs.
I thought, there must be a hymn that uses those words in the title. I'll look for it. If it were already written, it might be something like this (or would it?):
I thought it was over, I thought life was done
So empty I shook with despair
I asked God to help in the name of His Son
But I couldn't tell He was there
I shared my dilemma with some of my friends
They listened and prayed for God's Love
To soften my heart and then never to end
Below can be just as above
I prayed and I listened and listened some more
The peace in the silence shone through
My heart beat was thankful for all He had done
God showed me just what I could do
Chorus: The Heartfelt Joy of understanding
Deepest Peace that we can trust
God will touch us as we gather
More than words, More than us
(The last line of the last verse could say I or could say God or He, according to how it's perceived.)
(Rev. Rundell's wife is a Family Physician in medical education at my alma mater-The Ohio State University)