The sign at the trailhead read: “Warning: Strenuous.”
“Do you think the kids can do it?” I asked my husband. We looked down the the wooded, rocky trail which twisted down and then up the cliffside of a mesa. He affirmed that they could and led the way. I followed behind the line of my four children watching their straw sun hats bob up and down. Along the packed dirt trail we encountered many places where we had to scramble up and down uneven rocks and squeeze through narrow crevices.
I praised God over the stunning views of the deep blue sky contrasted with the red sandstone cliffs and the bright green of the tree leaves. And each uneven step became a surge of gratitude to God for my health as I remembered the severe joint pain I had experienced during Lyme disease. It had been two years since my recovery, but I still remembered how I had cried out to Him often for healing and the grace to suffer with Him. When my health was restored, I resolved to never forget His faithfulness to me.
In the First Reading today Moses tells the Israelites to commit to memory what Jews call the Shema Yisrael: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). He said to write it on their doors, carry it on their bodies, drill it into their children.
If they really learned this with their hearts, they would also be able to follow Moses’ adjuration to “take care not to forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:12).
Sisters, the Lord has delivered us from the slavery of sin, given us our very existence, and given us material blessings and health. And in our hard times, He has suffered with us. Pray today with the First Reading, calling to mind all the Lord has done for you, and resolve again to love Him with your whole heart.In our hard times, He has suffered with us. // @susannacspencer Click To Tweet
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