My post today will be much less philosophical or theological and much more relational.
Here in our local community, the events of the past week have been more heartrending and difficult than any of us want to repeat. We have watched close friends say goodbye to an infant and dear friends and co-workers bid farewell to a seventeen year old son who felt he could no longer cope with life; Yesterday a close friend (and former mayor) was taken from us with a sudden cardiac arrest and, at this writing, one of our dear friends battles a brain bleed in a Little Rock hospital. As I’ve prayed, cried and stood with these friends, I have wondered how anyone can cope with such tragedy and unforeseen heartache without a personal relationship with God.
Those who view God as either non-existent or far-removed from our human experiences are left to try coping with the heart-breaking loneliness with sedatives and human words of comfort that can never bring lasting healing It is evident that the heartaches in our local community have been magnified all across our nation this week, and our words of comfort and embraces of support can only reach so far. But God can reach and heal where we can not! One of the Hebrew names for God is El Roi, “The God who sees.” There are no circumstances in our lives that escapes His fatherly awareness and care.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:29-31:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
This morning, our pastor-son reminded us of the words of the Psalmist, David who said in Psalm 42:5:
“Why am I so discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise Him again–my Savior and my God.”
Steve Pyle reminded us this morning that “Praise puts your problem in the context of God’s power and promise. Praise refocuses our confidence! If our confidence is in Jesus Christ, the Creator of heaven and earth, the one who defeated the grave, the one who is known as faithful and true, then despite your circumstances you can be confident that He is taking you through it to it.”