I am blessed with loving family and friends; and yet, in having so many wonderful people in my life, I also encounter many challenges – oh, not with them (well, not often) but through them. There are instances of job loss, financial needs (really who doesn’t?), family disharmony, loss of a loved one, questionable lifestyles, life-threatening illnesses – the list could go on and on; but in hearing of the trials that others are encountering it certainly puts my own into perspective, and humbles me to be thankful that their trials are not mine.
I have been hungry, jobless, homeless (temporarily), had health concerns in my years, but none can compare to some of the troubles folk I care about have dealt with or are dealing with now – I cry for them and want so much to take away the very things that are hurting them – but I can only do so much.
In times of trouble, the one constant in my life has been God – giving my concerns to Him, sharing and believing that He can and does make a difference, has been a great source of comfort. It is not something you can easily explain, or describe to unbelievers – they just have to be willing to try it for themselves.
In 2 Corinthians 22-12:10 – Paul outlines his trials and tribulations; he passionately endeavours to convince us how he endured all that beset him. A strong faith in a God unseen, gave him strength to overcome the weaknesses that surfaced when he suffered (often horrific injustices and pain) – and gave him a peace to persevere despite his circumstances.
‘I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong’. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
My point here is that God can and does make a difference. Some of those near and dear to me, who are experiencing difficulties right now, are being helped in ways that they could not have imagined – others could find much-needed peace if they would only trust that God can help, but they won’t entertain the idea of ‘speaking’ to ‘someone they can’t see’. He moved me from away from people who did not have my best interests in their hearts, to a place of safety; I was (emotionally) battered and bruised; but God gave me a sense of peace in my heart and helped clear my mind of all that was not helpful to me; He was and still is, my source of strength at all times, and comes alongside me in the form of family and friends – usually in the ‘nick of time’ – and so through that I have learned to do the same for others – if I do not share what He gives me, what point is there to life?
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”. (NKJV)
Prayer – Father God, let me never overlook the needs of others. Help me to know what they need and how I can help. Help me to share Your Grace in all ways, in all situations – for Your glory. Amen