At times life can be difficult, painful, unfair, and just plain hard. Some of us at one time or another have experienced the loss of property during a hurricane, tornado, etc. Others have experienced the loss of relationship whether with a spouse or a good friend. Most have endured the heartache of the loss of a loved one through death.
No, life isn’t always easy, even though we want it to be. It’s in the difficult times especially that we need help. Last year when hurricane Ian hit the west coast of Florida every one of the communities that Newby Management manages was scarred in some way. Some not very much while others were devastated. The wreckage was awful to witness, but it was in this terrible mess that we saw the beautiful, selfless service of others helping to put lives back together. When our residents needed help friends, neighbors and Newby Management responded.
This response pleased God because I know it’s important to Him. He reveals to us in scripture that we must respond practically and timely to those in need. As an example, notice James chapter two.
15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
To help out in difficult times like we saw with the cleanup following hurricane Ian is a loving act of obedience to God toward our fellow man.
Whatever loss you’re going through right now I want to encourage you by highlighting the fact that not only do we find help through others but in God Himself. He is there in our difficulties, pain, injustice, and hardships. Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
God is our refuge sometimes to protect us from danger but other times to go with us through the danger and loss. This truth doesn’t make it easy it just makes it more bearable. To recognize God’s presence in what threatens us absolutely helps in bringing us comfort, even if it’s through our tears.
I shared during one of our recent staff meetings that when Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb (John 11) He didn’t weep because Lazarus died. I believe Jesus wept because Lazarus’ sisters were broken hearted in their grief of losing their brother. This tells me that Jesus goes through our hardships with us, not as an emotionless robot but as our Savior who is with us, loving us, and hurting with us. Sometimes He removes the pain and other times He provides His presence.
So, my friend, if you are in the pain of loss or injustice my prayer for you is that you experience the reality of what Jesus promised in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”