Baking and praying. This is how I cope. I realize this as I sift and mix, wiping flour from my fingertips.
Recently bad news seems to accompany every phone call and slips into every conversation. In situations which leave me powerless, I take comfort in the simplicity of the recipe. Two cups flour and one cup sugar—I can do that. One Our Father and ten Hail Marys—I can do that.
I can’t mend every broken relationship, or heal my dying loved one, or bring physical comfort to my friends who are lonely. But I can exercise a spiritual discipline that brings peace.
The past twelve months have provided ample opportunity to reflect and discover our own coping mechanisms. Some of us had never really experienced long periods of frustration or grief, whereas others have experienced sorrow as an uninvited guest reappearing in unexpected times, knocking on the door to our heart. The trials this past year have been sufficient to push most of us towards a coping mechanism of some sort.
Scripture today instructs us to endure trials as discipline, rather than just finding a way to struggle through. As a parent of four, I have much practice with the word “discipline.”
The word has three distinct but interrelated meanings. It can mean corrective behavior, but it can also mean a training practice, or a branch of knowledge. If we are to endure our trials as a form of study, or process of growth, maybe we can approach trials with a more open spirit and with less despair.
Lent is just around the corner. As it approaches, I encourage you to intentionally reflect on your own current coping strategies and whether these strategies help you to exercise spiritual discipline in your trials. If not, perhaps you can pray about ways to grow in spiritual discipline this season of Lent.
It would be beautiful if we could all receive the peaceful fruit of righteousness as a reward for our endurance.Receive the peaceful fruit of righteousness. // @maryruthhackett Click To Tweet