Does this ever happen to you - you are poised to move forward in something, but some thing or another pulls at you ... 'wait,' it says, 'you aren't quite finished yet - you've left something undone'?
Segue, or so it seems, though not at all. My heart and mind are full of faces I love who need hope... so much so, that thoughts of them cling to me in my sleep. When I awaken in the night, I wonder how they are 'holding up', I pray that they will look for God's presence around them and feel him. Each needs something totally different from our Heavenly Father:
~one needs comfort because her teen-aged daughter was tragically ripped away from her
~a handsome 19-year-old boy is very sick in a San Francisco hospital - a rare form of cancer - and needs healing and relief from his physical pain
---->>>>Please join me in praying for a miracle for Kevin!
~a beautiful young Southern California wife is feeling uncertain, bereft, scared and lonely as her military husband was deployed to Yemen for seven long months
~a wife needs to live in expectation of God showing up in her marriage, rather than feeling the hurt of unmet expectations, instead of thinking about all the hurt of it.
I could go on, but you get the idea I'm sure.
Friend, you and I have the tools to step into their paths and bring hope! We do not have to stand on the sidelines and wring our hands.
Consider again with me these words of Paul from Philippians two: Think about what we have in Christ: the encouragement he has brought us,
the comfort of his love, our sharing in his Spirit,
and the mercy and kindness he has shown us. Philippians 2.1, ERV
Friends, we have a Savior who sticks closer than a brother!1
That Savior, our Good Shepherd, the great I Am, invites us to bring all of our needs to him, and we can help others bring their great concerns and worries to him as well. Again, my beloved Paul instructs a little later in this same letter: Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."2
Do not miss the word "present" meaning give or release or relinquish...
Give over to God what you are grieving, let God take it, and then give you his peace.
Note: there are two words in that verse that we skip right over -
You see, choosing to be thankful in the midst of our trials, anxiety, worry or grieving seems illogical, but as a student of the Bible I know that nothing is without logic in Scripture. I just have to seek to understand why it is there-the fault does not lie in the Author, but in the student or reader's limitation. Fact is, our God has no limitation, nor does his Word.
In the middle of our stuff, when we choose to be thankful and focus on those things for which we are thankful - we find something else which goes hand in hand with the promised peace which is beyond our understanding, the peace that we so desperately seek: we find hope. Further, we can extend that hope to others.
When we are thankful people, we have reason to hope.
When we thank God for our blessings - and no matter our situations - there are things for which to thank him... we choose not to live in hurt, but to live in hope.
1 - Proverbs 18.24
2 - Philippians 4.6-7 CSB