Meditation: Settling The Nerves Of Our Nation

By Rev Angela C

Bosfield Palacious

WHEN it comes to thinking about our attempts to recover from a series of ordeals in the past few years, we have to consider our approach to settling the nerves of the nation. It is quite unnerving to have so many persons affected in a variety of ways. As we look toward dealing with our people as a whole, let us begin by dealing with ourselves as individuals and then we can move to levels of community healing.

Let us begin by asking ourselves the following questions:

  1. How stressed am I?

  2. What can I do about it if I am?

  3. How well am I eating?

  4. How well am I sleeping?

  5. Do I have nightmares?

  6. Do I have flashbacks?

  7. Am I avoiding the issue?

  8. Am I talking about my feelings?

Post traumatic syndrome can affect us all. It may be mild or severe. It may require a listening ear, a few counselling sessions, or possibly medication.

After answering these questions honestly, we are in a better place to determine a way forward. However, in addition to those queries, add four more:

  1. How did I feel before Hurricane Matthew?

  2. Was I already feeling stressed?

  3. How can I take control of some aspects of my life?

  4. How can I feel less helpless or hopeless?

With these answers in mind let us consider approaches to recovery.

  1. Write to express your thoughts and feelings (journal, poetry, prose, drama, prayers, psalms, hymns).

  2. Talk to express your thoughts and feelings. Find someone prepared to listen and share your story as often as you are moved so to do.

  3. Exercise to put all of your emotional energy to good use.

  4. Help others as this makes a difference by getting involved in cleaning, baby-sitting, visits to assist in any way needed.

  5. Pursue hobbies that you enjoy to calm down and feel even more peaceful.

  6. Be honest with yourself and get help if you need it.

  7. Pray for a closer relationship with God and to learn to love others and yourself more appropriately.

For many of us who pray, life makes more sense when we realize that we cannot make it without the Lord. Most of us look to the wrong person for wrong things. Until we learn to trust God and love God, we will always be dominated or oppressed. It is Christ who sets us free. Christ gives us our dignity. After you receive the free gift of God’s amazing grace, then you give yourself to God as a gift.

  1. Study Scripture to anchor yourself:

• Psalm 121 NIV: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you -- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,  nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

• Matthew 8:23-27 NIV: Jesus Calms the Storm – “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’”

• Philippians 4:4-7 NIV: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

• 1 Peter 5:7 NIV: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Let us all do whatever we can to help each other to stay calm, be patient, remain hopeful, while working together to rebuild and to settle the nerves of our nation.


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