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There are moments in our lives we remember forever

It is human to react with strong emotions when our lives feel threatened, whether it is a physical or psychological threat. But God also gave us the cognitive ability to restrain those emotions, to gain control and step back. In times of conflict it is OK to say, “I will talk to you about this but right now I need to step back.” Then take a shower, take a walk, take time to pray.

Interpret the situation in a realistic way. There are moments in our lives that we remember forever. Psychologists call such times “flashbulb memories.” Some are shared in our national consciousness: do you remember where you were when you heard about Pearl Harbor, JFK’s assassination, or the Oklahoma City bombing? Other flashbulb memories are personal: the letter telling us that a spouse has left; the voice explaining that a loved one has been killed in action, the papers scattered on a physician’s desk as you learn of a child’s terminal illness. In each case it is normal to think, “I can’t go on. My life is over.” But with time, a more realistic interpretation is possible:

“My life has been changed forever and it will be difficult to move on. But step by step, I will.”

“Be not hasty in your utterance” (Ecclesiastes 5:1) or you may create your own hell on earth.  John couldn’t figure out why Jane would leave him when only that morning “she came and called me her ‘dearest dear,’ and said I was makin’ for her a regular paradise here.” His hasty and angry response created his own hell because in 15 minutes Jane walked in saying, “Why, John what a litter here! You’ve thrown things all around. Come, what’s the matter now? And what have you lost or found? And here’s my father here, a’ waiting for supper too. I’ve been a’riding with him – he’s that ‘handsomer man than you.’” John’s embarrassed conclusion is: “I’ll never break sod, again, till I get the lay of the land.” Talk to God to get the “lay of the land.” Join the Psalmist in crying, “May God send help from heaven to save me.” (Psalm 57:4)

Scripture for the Journey

And scarce do we guess the things on earth,

and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty;

but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?

Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given Wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high?

And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight,

and men learned what was your pleasure,

and were saved by Wisdom.  (Wisdom 9:16-18)

Ah, Lord GOD, you have made heaven and earth by your great might, with your outstretched arm; nothing is impossible to you.  (Jeremiah 32:17)