Mood Rings

Readers of a certain age might be interested to know that mood rings are BACK. I recently visited my hip young niece, and was surprised to see one on her hand. Some of us can remember this amazing fad from our own youth.

For the uninformed, a mood ring is a ring made with thermochromatic liquid crystals that change color with changes in temperature of the ring finger. These colors are thought to be a reflection of the wearer’s emotions. For example, a blue ring indicates that the wearer is calm and relaxed. Yellow signals nervousness and unhappiness, while black….well, run fast if your friend’s ring goes black. Black reveals someone who is tense, nervous, overworked, harassed, and stressed. I once had a boss who wore a mood ring. It was very helpful to us peons. The word would spread through the restaurant that the “RING IS BLACK” and we would all scurry into the corners until he went back into his office. That ring probably saved our lives.

Everyone has a bad day. Everyone wakes up in the occasional bad mood. But whether we choose to stay there or not….THAT is the question.

Lamentations 3

19-21 I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
    the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
    the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
    and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.

Sometimes the only way out of a bad mood is to simply acknowledge it, and then REMEMBER. Remember that God’s loyal love never runs out. Remember that his merciful love can never dry up. Remember that he is our hope and our faithful savior. Remember.

25-27 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
    to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
    quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
    to stick it out through the hard times.

The niece with the mood ring is going through a very hard time right now. This scripture speaks right into her situation…it is a good thing when you are young to stick it out through the hard times. I venture to say that it is also a good thing when you’re OLD to stick it out through the hard times.

28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take,
    go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
    Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
    The “worst” is never the worst.

Did you hear that? The “worst” is never the worst. Hang in there, black mood-ring-wearers. Blue is coming soon. Remember where your hope comes from. Things may be dark for a night, but hope comes in the morning. Don’t ask questions: just wait for hope to appear.

HopeRise by Michelle Robertson

Star Counter

Sometimes when my problems feel overwhelmingly big, I try to remember that there are much bigger things:

God’s love for me

God’s prevenient grace

God’s ability to carry my burden

God’s willingness to fix me

God’s creation around me

God’s warrior skills.

Living at the beach provides a constant reminder of how small we are. I stand at the edge of the ocean and watch its power. The waves follow one after the other, the sun sets, and the moon pulls the tide. I have nothing to do with that. Yet I live my life as though I am in control.

The ocean teaches me that it is a fool’s errand to think such things. The water moves on its own accord, set into motion by the God of creation. The beauty around me reminds me that every trial, every tragedy, every misstep, every betrayal, and every hardship we will ever know is smaller than the one who not only counts the stars, but KNOWS THEM BY NAME.

Psalm 147 (New King James Version)

Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
He casts the wicked down to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises on the harp to our God,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.

What does that say to you today? If he knows the name of every star, surely he knows yours. And the name of your enemy. And the name of your battle. And the names of your family. Listen, he even knows your cat’s name.

If knowing the names of the stars matters to God, how much more do you matter to him? His understanding is infinite. He is mighty in power. In the smallness of our mess, God steps in and binds up wounds and heals the brokenhearted.

Whatever you’ve got today, know this: God’s got you. Whatever is defeating you, remember that God has already won your battle. Whatever is making you feel hopeless, turn to God, who created the universe and is your HOPE.

So sing praise in your darkness, and lift high the name of the Lord in your brokenness. Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Photo courtesy of NASA/Hubble Space Telescope