Our Hope can be Found in Christ

College Blog Friday, 03 Sept 2021

It can be difficult working from home, managing the demands of online learning, the uncertainty of going to work, decision making around vaccinations, celebrations missed in their known forms, and possibly a myriad of other concerns.

Even though life is not as busy with our children's usual after school demands, it is busy in other ways. The mental load can feel quite busy each day. I am sure that you have heard the analogy of us not being in a sprint but rather a marathon at the moment, one where we are uncertain of the finish line. It is vital for us to equip ourselves for the marathon.

Part of equipping ourselves is caring for our wellbeing. This can come in many forms. Some would say six elements help to care for our wellbeing. These include:

•              Spiritual values
•              Emotional
•              Occupational
•              Intellectual
•              Social community and
•              Physical fitness and nutrition.

When you consider these six areas, is there an area where you could make one decision today to care for your wellness? I want to look at spiritual values and how we can intentionally care for our wellbeing through God's word specifically.

While we know that we can take steps to support our wellness, it is encouraging to see that it is not my job alone to care for my wellbeing. I have a Heavenly Father who cares for me and is always there to support and guide me in easy times and in hard times. He is there to care for you as well.

When life becomes busy and demanding, we can ruminate over our worries and concerns. When life doesn't pan out the way we want it to, we dream or fantasise about how life should be. To help the state of our mind, we can choose to meditate and fix our mind on a helpful or positive thought and stay there.

Scripture recognises our tendency to meditate on our anxieties (Philippians 4:5) and invites us to instead deeply reflect on things that are true (Philippians 4:8). Instead of ruminating on problems, insecurities and fears, scripture encourages us to meditate on God's law (Psalm 1:2), God's works (Psalm 143:5), and God's promises (Psalm 110:148). Dwelling on these things is an opportunity to remind ourselves of essential truths we quickly forget but need every day, especially in this season of life.

Fixing our thoughts on the promises of Scripture affects our minds, bodies and soul. It can reduce the speed and intensity of our thoughts. It reduces tension in our bodies. It connects us with God and often helps his promises to stick with us throughout the day. 

If we look at Psalm 23, some key verses are found to dwell and meditate on when life becomes overwhelming. Take a few deep breaths, and reflect on these precious verses:

1.           The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing.
2.           He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.
3.           He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
4.           Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
5.           You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6.           Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

What might God be saying to you through this portion of scripture? How does this scripture encourage you? How might God be asking you to live out this verse today?

We are called to love and serve one another. Next week, we will be having a more intentional focus on wellbeing across the College. R U OK day is on Thursday 9 September. Throughout the week, from ELC to Year 12, students will be involved in lessons and activities to support their wellbeing and look for ways to help peers and friends. They will be learning, in age-appropriate ways, how to recognise their feelings and how to support their wellbeing. Students will be reminded that God sees them, loves them and cares for them. I pray that you know that God loves you, sees you and cares for you. I encourage you to be intentional in checking in with someone, asking them are they really OK and being willing to listen and support them as needed.

I was reminded recently of the story of a precious lady by the name of Corrie Ten Boom. She was born in 1892 and was a Dutch Christian watchmaker and a writer later in her life. Corrie worked with her Father Casper, Sister Betsie, and other family members to help many Jewish people escape from the Nazi's during the Holocaust in World War 2 by hiding them in their homes. Corrie and her family were caught, and she was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. The book, titled 'The Hiding Place', is a biography that recounts the story of the family's efforts and how she found and shared hope in God. At the same time, she was imprisoned at the concentration camp.

We are not suffering the hardship that Corrie endured. We do have our difficulties in this season. It is entirely alright to feel a range of emotions in this season. Please choose to action something to help you and your family members to support your wellbeing. Choose to rest in Him. 
Connie is remembered for many inspiring quotes. One that is beautiful to remember in this season is:

'If you look at the world, you'll be distressed.
If you look within, you'll be depressed.
But if you look at Christ, you'll be at rest.' Corrie Ten Boom

May you be reminded that Christ sees you in this moment of hard. God wants to support you in this season. I pray you can find rest in Him, His promises, and His word. 

Tara Waller
Head of Primary Years