HOLLAND: Trusting the God of hope
Like you, I’m hearing about acts of kindness during this time when the virus is causing so many problems.
It’s easy to become so distracted with how bad things are that we forget all the good going on around us.
In a world where the attitude is many times based on an “everyone for themselves mentality” it’s good to know there are still caring people out there who are sincerely compassionate.
Just the other day, I experienced this for myself.
As chaplain for our county fire district, I’m honored to work with a group of amazing individuals, and their dedication to the community is nothing less than remarkable. I enjoy working with them and doing what I can to support and contribute as they daily sacrifice their lives to save others.
I’ve not said much to anyone lately, but I’ve been ill for the last few weeks with what eventually evolved into bacterial pneumonia. I tested negative for the virus, but this has still been a very unpleasant time of feeling terrible and trying to stay isolated.
We received a knock on the door the other day, and it was one of the firemen bringing us a truckload of groceries. We have a fund at the department for things like this, and they had all voted to help us out.
My wife held the front door while he started placing the bags in the foyer floor. I watched from the kitchen wearing a mask and was deeply moved as the blessings kept coming. We are so thankful for this act of generosity and love.
This is just another example in the long list of people choosing to step up and demonstrate deeds with their faith in times of adversity.
With so many families having to stay home, this could actually be a perfect opportunity to reflect on our personal relationship with God and consider the internal and eternal realities of our soul.
We will get through this, and I really believe most everything will be restored, but shouldn’t God be given more attention and consideration?
We are hearing about how strong and resilient we are, but very little about how the God of creation is the all powerful and wise authority of all things.
We are vulnerable, and He is the one who can deliver us. It is He who should receive all the glory.
Are we embarrassed to acknowledge the almighty and ashamed of proclaiming the need for us to pray and ask Him to help us?
An editor friend from South Dakota emailed me tonight and relayed how she had been praying, and it occurred to her that God was already aware of everything going on. She realized she was nervously doing all the talking, and a significant part of seeking God is to listen to His voice.
In Mark 4:9 and several other places in the Bible this point is emphasized, “And Jesus said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
So what is God saying? Well, beyond the overwhelming flood of human voices, we have a beautiful passage found in II Chronicles 7:14 that we can stand on because God’s word is true and cannot fail: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” “Heavenly Father, we pray for the families of those who are suffering and have lost loved ones from this illness. We ask that you to bring comfort to their heart and soul.
“We ask that you minister your healing to those who are infected and strengthen their immune system.
“For the ones who are anxious and afraid, cover them with your perfect peace. Those who are experiencing financial hardship, may you restore all they are losing and cause them to come out victorious after this is over.
“We pray for our nation and ask that you protect our economy in this time of fear and uncertainty.
“Bind us together in your love and please give our leaders your wisdom to make the right decisions according to your perfect will.
“We humbly repent of our sins and pray that multitudes will embrace you as the source of their life and the hope of their salvation, in your holy name we pray. Amen.”
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