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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Thursday 25 February
Deep-rooted wisdom

 

 

Read Proverbs 3:13–26

Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or of the storm that strikes the wicked; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. (verses 25–26)

 

For all my adult life I have lived with recurrent anxiety disorder. I can be well for long periods and then it will flare up so fiercely that even getting out of bed becomes a struggle. There is nothing that makes me feel less rooted in wisdom and faith than the blurry thoughts and sharp physical sensations of panic.

 

In this passage, wisdom is spoken of almost as a talisman; a ‘tree of life’ that protects us from both inner and outer turbulence. Of course, I don’t mean this in terms that could be simplistic or unhelpful; telling someone in the midst of a panic attack to ‘have faith’ or reading them a verse as if it is a magical incantation can belittle what that person is going through. What’s more, both responses would be missing the point of a calling into deeper knowledge and understanding of oneself and one’s foundation.

 

Wisdom, we read, was present at creation (verse 19); it is a ‘tree of life’ (verse 18), the ‘life for your soul’ (verse 22). This reminds me of our reflection on Monday about God’s law being ‘written on our hearts’. There is something deep within us that we can draw on in turbulent times; something we can remain rooted in even if we might not always feel it. In fact, we definitely won’t! But knowing that there is a quiet, solid, deep-rooted wisdom available to us and attempting to cultivate its presence in our lives may mean that in those times of sudden panic there is a still, small voice of calm to soothe and guide us.

 

† Dear God, all of whose paths are peace, teach us to cultivate your wisdom when we feel strong so that it can bolster us in turbulent times. Amen