"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
It is horrifying to see the pictures coming out of Texas. As the days continue, we begin to see more and more of the destruction from Hurricane Harvey. Roads have been washed away. Homes have been washed away. Cars and belongings, all washed away. At the writing of this blog post, the rain continues to come down over Texas. As I watch the news and see the devastation, it's hard to understand the magnitude of what this hurricane has actually caused. My heart goes out to all that are dealing with this.
Over the years, all over the world, there has been devastation like this. Whether it comes in the form of wind and rain, or tornadoes, or fires, or snow, or drought or other weather phenomenons, disasters occur. We tend to look at natural disasters as difficult to control. How do you control Mother Nature? Obviously, we can't.
There are other disasters in our lives that aren't produced by nature that can be just as devastating. They can come in the form of a broken relationship, someone who leaves earth far too soon, financial difficulties, health hardships, etc. Disasters can come in so many forms, predicted or unforeseen. How do we respond to these types of disasters?
These are the times when our Dear Lord shouts and says, "Here I am, Lean on Me!" He knows, better than all of us do, that hardships and disasters will come into our lives. Yet it is how we deal with these hardships that help us get to the other side - with hope. As our verse for this week shares, "...we are not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, not destroyed." Why?
Because our Jesus is with us every step of the way. He is there as our belongings move with the water. He is there when our loved one is taken from us. He is there when we hear a diagnosis of cancer. He is there when we are lonely. He is there - every moment of every day. We will face difficult times as Christians. Our paths are not paved with gold and always full of sunshine. What makes our hard times different? We have a Savior who has been through pain. He knows what our pain is like and He will guide us through it. With our faith as a cornerstone, our lives will move forward - in hope.
As we go through the disasters of our life, it is hard to see "the other side". Yet, when we have faith through these disasters, we know that better days are ahead of us. There is a rainbow of hope. There is Jesus waiting to help us. Let Him help you!!
"Heavenly Father, we ask that you be with those that are going through personal disasters right now. Our greatest thoughts are with those in Texas. Help them, Jesus, to have faith through all of this. Please put your loving arms around them, let them know you are there with them, and provide the hope that they desperately need. We also ask that you be with all that are in the midst of difficult times. Help them to reach out to you, and please respond to them with love. In your gracious name we pray, Amen."