Friday, January 09, 2009

God's Presence in Tough Times

Last evening federal finance minister Jim Flaherty faced upset constituents during a townhall meeting in Whitby. They told their stories of job loss and concern for the future of their children.
Canada shed 34,000 jobs in December, a grim statistic, although the United States lost more than half a million jobs, a far higher per capita loss. President-elect Barack Obama is warning of a catastrophic outcome unless all parties work toward a new economic plan.

Great Britain is also experiencing wide-spread plant closures and what they call "redundancy," their version of "lay-offs." The Church of England published prayers this past week specific to the experience of job loss. Again, it is an attempt to publicly display compassion in the midst of difficult times. Here is one example:

Thank you, Heavenly Father, that in the middle of the sadness, the anger, the uncertainty, the pain, I can talk to you.
Hear me as I cry out in confusion, help me to think clearly, and calm my soul.
As life carries on, may I know your presence with me each and every day.
And as I look to the future, help me to look for fresh opportunities, for new directions.
Guide me by your Spirit, and show me your path, through Jesus, the way, the truth and the life.

Are you affected by the economic downturn? Is your faith of comfort in difficult times?


Ian said...

I can't imagine what some folks are going through, not only in Canada but elsewhere where the 'crisis' is much worse.

We live well within our means at my place. Minimal credit, a strict budget, and a tendency to save up as much as possible for major purchases before buying. My job sector (education) has been only marginally affected by what's happening, and I consider use blessedly lucky.

I feel for those on "Main St." who could use prayers like the one you've presented, David. But, I also question how much of the present global financial predicament was caused by outright greed.

The potential for that sin to be 'deadly' for some is very real at present.

Deborah Laforet said...

I consider myself lucky. Lucky to be white, lucky to be educated, lucky to be in a booming province. The ones who will face the most hurt during this economic crisis are those who are already hurting, those who are already oppressed and marginalized, those of colour, the uneducated, and single moms just to name a few.

As Americans and Canadians tighten their belts, how will those around the rest of the globe be affected? How will small farmers be affected? Will people continue to buy fair-trade which tends to be more expensive? Will financial support for charities decrease? My prayers go out to all those who will be especially affected by this crisis.

David Mundy said...

We had a brief conversation in our office this morning about the importance of living within our means. The trouble is, the person working on the GM assembly line who is the model of fiscal prudence will be as deeply affected by a plant closure as the person who is deeply in hock.

There are untold millions of people in every strata of societies around the world who are affected by this economic downturn.

We can count our blessings and keep those prayers coming.