I am learning to handle repetitive and unexpected negative thoughts.  They come as a sadness with an undercurrent of fear that I’ll miss opportunities.  For most of my life the work in front of me drove my days.  Rearing our children, growing in knowledge, writing, teaching, and other challenges came and went.  What’s happened, why the sadness now?  I know and believe in my gifts; I believe there are innate gifts within every person.  Yet why do I suddenly lack courage?

Do I need a new, clear picture in my mind of who I am?  What is the niche I fit into now?  How do I gain new vision?

You are in good company if you experience this.  Do you remember the Prophet Elijah?  Who was more successful than this man; one of the greatest prophets in history!  Yet even he, “. . . requested for himself that he might die; and said, ‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers’.” (I Ki.19:4).  I have said nearly the same a couple of times as I lay in bed, “I’m ready to die; there isn’t anything I can think of to do.”

Then I read Bruce Wilkinson’s Secrets of the Vine and my focus changed.  He decided to get up early and read the Bible; find a special place, alone with God.  Wilkenson found hope.  So I started doing it, and hope came.

The lessons that Jesus gave of the vineyard are written in the book of John.   His commands have been life changing.  One of them: “Abide in me and I in you.” isn’t a suggestion.  Since it’s not a suggestion, I can.  The meaning has become real: Abide, stay close – – for the long haul draw close to God.  Get to know Jesus.  His commands are not austere, they are empowering,

When the mistakes and failures loom and there seems no hope, I say in a prayer, “I will abide, stay close to Jesus”.

Find and memorize verses that bring assurance and peace.  Say them out loud.  You will hear the message in your soul.  Feel it and believe it.  Hope will come.

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