Thoughts for Life
‘God is my strength, God is my song, and, yes! God is my salvation.’ (MSG)
Comfort in Distress
I thought I was being clever in coming up with a new word for the dictionary, “homefullness”. Apparently I’ve been beaten to it. The book, “Designing Cultures of Care”, edited by Laurene Vaughan (2018), has already come up with it. I used the word to mean spending all our time at home. The book uses it to describe overcoming inequality in providing accommodation, support, and a sense of belonging and community.
We are currently having to find different ways of doing community, so that everyone is catered for. One particular group in my prayers at this time are those who cannot support their loved ones in their dying moments, or grieve in close proximity at funerals. Hospital Covid-19 patients for example who die with no family holding their hand, not their wife, husband, son, daughter, father, mother; nobody. Then at the funeral there is no hugging, no close contact to bear the grief together. When my father died I had held it together until just after the funeral when I had to grab my physically nearest son to stop my knees from folding in grief. How do we fall to our knees in tears and grief knowing nobody can hold you?
The Bible gives us two almost identical instances where God took a fearful community and enabled them to cross from a time of “grief, anxiety and a great deal of unknowing”, to “the other side”. He did this by drying up rivers, even though the rivers were in full flood. God did it once when a man named Moses was leading God’s people, in order to cross the Red Sea and escape Egypt (Exodus 14:10-22). God did it again some 40 years later when he enabled a new leader, Joshua, to lead the people across the river Jordan to enter a land full of goodness for them (Joshua 3:14-17).
Do we currently have a seemingly impassable torrent in front of us? Are we in need of comfort, needing to know God is with us in our distress, able to bring us safe to the other side, to a place of goodness, peace and strength?
Jesus said, “..surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5)
He will save us (be our salvation) if we turn to him in prayer, and ask to be led through to the other side of whatever sorrow we are currently facing.
In the words of a song by Chris Rice, “Come to Jesus .. Sing to Jesus .. Fall on Jesus .. Cry to Jesus .. Dance for Jesus .. Fly to Jesus .. AND LIVE!”. Allow Jesus to carry you to the other side!