Words of Encouragement & Hope
Submitted by Rev. Linda Deming

My children were preschoolers when I "discovered" Winnie the Pooh. As they watched the cartoons, I was drawn in and became a forever fan. Yes, Pooh and his friends were created for children, but I am convinced that 90% of the wisdom in the dialog of the characters is lost on them. Pooh is for adults as well as children!

From time to time the cartoon below appears in my Facebook feed. It always makes me stop and appreciate the truth contained therein.

"Today was a difficult day," said Pooh.
There was a pause.
"Do you want to talk about it?" asked Piglet.
"No", said Pooh after a bit. "No I don't think I do"
"That's okay," said Piglet. "I know what Difficult Days are like. I quite often don't feel like talking about it on my Difficult Days either. But goodness," continued Piglet, "Difficult Days are so much easier when you know someone is there for you. And I'll always be here for you, Pooh."
And Pooh sat there, working through his Difficult Day in his head, while Piglet sat next to him quietly, swinging his little legs...
Pooh thought that his friend had never been more right.

The last five or six months have had Difficult Days for all of us. Perhaps today is a Difficult Day for you. 

The request to "shelter in place" may mean we are not able to have a friend come sit quietly beside us -- just to be there so our Difficult Day is not quite so difficult. 

But we can call a friend, asking them to be with us in thought that day.

Or it is possible to call the prayer line at the church, requesting prayer for ourselves. We needn't give any details -- just ask to be held in prayer. Knowing that others are praying for you helps lift any burden.

Or, most reliably of all, God already knows all about our Difficult Day and is just waiting for us to call for help in our struggle. God's arms are open and waiting. 

Or perhaps on this Difficult Day, we might need to feel God's presence sitting next to us while we, like Pooh, work through our difficult day. All we must do is ask, remembering: God was with us yesterday. God is with us today. God will be with us tomorrow and forever.

Difficult Days are inevitable, but we are not lacking in resources to deal with them. 

May your Difficult Days be few and far between!