Today I am sharing Psalm 37:23-24. I chose the New Century Version in particular because of the beautiful translation of the last part: “If they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds their hand.” It is comforting to know that no matter what you are going through, the Lord will always be there for us… like a loving Parent holding on to their child’s hand.
As I was contemplating what to share today, I was reminded of this little verse in Mathew 14:14. It is often overlooked because it immediately presides one of the great miracles of the Gospels: when Jesus feed five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. But I want to focus on Mathew 14:14 today.
I do not know about you, but I find it very hard to stay sad, discouraged, upset, apathetic, hurt or any other negative feeling when I am praising the Lord. There is something about the very act of giving thanks to God, even when it seems we have very little to be thankful for, that lifts my mood, eases my burdens, and floods me with peace. It is not always easy to find things to be thankful for.
Relying only on God means fully, completely leaning on His strength no matter the situation, no matter the cost, no matter the end. Yes, even unto death. For this world is not our home, and there is something far greater in store. May every deed we do, every word we say — even in the midst of our greatest trials and deepest sorrows — point to the love of the Lord Jesus so that others will see His light shining through us and learn to love Him, too. Friend, that is our purpose and our privilege. To love God with all of our hearts, souls, strength and mind and, because He first loved us, show this love with all of those we meet. (Matthew 22:36-20) May we be able to sing His praises always. Glory to the Father! Glory to the Son! And to the blessed Spirit!
While the child struggled for life, King David pleaded for mercy and healing. He fasted, he prayed, he wept, he laid prostrate on the ground, he refused any form of comfort for seven long, agonizing days. When word of the baby’s death reached David, he rose, washed, worshiped at the Tabernacle, and then returned to normal life activities. Sometimes we read this part and wonder, as his own servants did, how is it that David wrestled with the Lord so deeply while the child still lived but the moment the child passed, he seems to have moved on? I can now say that I understand David like I never have before.
Every moment, every day is a precious gift of time. Let us cherish the time we have now and, no matter what difficult circumstance you may be going through, claim the peace that the Lord offers. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Oh, that bright and glorious day! That day when the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. That wonderful and great day when sin and all of its ugly, painful effects will be no more. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, ESV)
Yes, we grieve. We grieve deeply. But we grieve with hope.
It may be that you, too, are struggling. Perhaps, like us, it seems that one bad thing seems to be followed by another and another. There are some days and some situations which leave us feeling numb… emotionally and mentally worn out. You may not feel like reading God’s Word or praying, but it is times like this when that is exactly what we should be doing.
There were a few times this past week when we had no idea if Mom would survive. You may have experienced or may be experiencing something similar. It is important to grieve, to deal with the flood of conflicting emotions, to process the current situations (as uncertain as it is) and begin to mentally prepare for the various outcomes. But never lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Even when faced with death. Death is not the end but merely the beginning of a new chapter.
It is not fair. Cancer is never fair. If you are struggling with a devastating diagnosis, of yourself or a loved one, I know what it is like to cry your heart out to the Lord and feel that He is not answering or, even worse, His answer is “No, my precious one.” We cannot see with the eyes of God.