Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

These verses, part of a letter to the Philippians, were written by the apostle Paul while he was in prison. Can you imagine having such a positive attitude while in a place like that? Such an inspiration!

Only days ago, I wasn’t feeling very positive. However, I had been told to distract myself when ugly thoughts or feelings hit. And, although the Bible was not on the list of 225 pleasurable activities my counselor had given me to try, it ended up being the best place to go. I flipped through my New Testament and it opened to where the above passage had been underlined.

So much in the Bible urges us on, reminding us what God can do to give us the freedom to truly live.

You know how sometimes you get so bogged down by hard times, pain and suffering that you can’t imagine there being anything beyond that? From day to day, all you seem to be able to do is the basics: load the dishwasher, do the laundry, putter a bit with a sudoku puzzle.

You forget that God made you to live for much more than that. You forget that he has work for you, work that will wake you up – lift you up. Work that will make life worth living again.

Are you ready for a lift, or do you need a bit more time to recover? Don’t be ashamed if you don’t feel ready to move on. Each of us needs to recover at her own pace. Each needs her own time to work her way out of the darkness. Don’t think any less of yourself if you are taking longer than you think you should.

Instead, hold this treasure in your heart and soul: You are loved and valued for who you are – whether you’re lying on the sofa, unable to motivate yourself, or moving from one activity to another. God trusts you to do what you can when you can. He realizes that you won’t always be where you are today. He knows you need time to recover, in the same way people with physical illnesses do.

I hear God say, “When your time comes, my love will breathe life into your body and soul. I will revive you and you will see the sun shining on your world again – you will feel the freshness of the breeze. Activities you had always loved will come into focus again. Remember the joy they gave you? Remember the sparkling promise of the morning sun? Soon you’ll be able to reach out, move forward and make that joy yours again.”

It’s time to move on.

Thank you, God, for your blessings. Thank you for your healing touch.