Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mid-Week Message - The Most Difficult Time of the Year

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow.]  Psalm 147:3  (AMP)

On December 14, 2012, a young man entered an elementary school in Connecticut and proceeded to kill twenty-six people, twenty of whom were children between the ages of six and seven.  Most of us heard the story and watched the horror unfold on television.  As we sat, shocked that this could take place at all, let alone during the Christmas season, we cried, we prayed and we thought about the parents who would go home without their children, only to see empty stockings hung by the fireplace with the names of babies they would never hold again.  

I mention this terrible incident because we are entering a time of year that is incredibly difficult for many people.  Those who have family members that will be missing from around the Thanksgiving table and Christmas tree, especially for the first time, will feel that absence intensely.  Others will find their loneliness almost unbearable as they spend the holidays alone, for whatever reason.  For some the holidays bring unpleasant memories due to family issues.  And there are many that will simply refuse to acknowledge the dates on the calendar at all.  

Each time I hear of an accident I ask the Lord for His protection to be over the person or people involved.  I pray for their lives to be spared and their bodies and spirits healed.  When I hear of a death I ask for Him to comfort the family and friends in the way that only He can and to surround them with His angels and godly followers so that every need might be met in a compassionate and immediate way.  And I remember the times that He did those things for me.  

At this time of year especially, we need to be alert and aware of those around us and to ask the Father to direct us to those that need His love.  Although He can do anything without our help, He uses people to help people.  The love that He has shown us is to be shown to others in need.  Any blessing He has provided for us is intended to be shared.  Our personal experiences with His guidance, healing, compassion and presence can be an encouragement to those who are hurting now.  Sometimes what is needed most is to know that someone cares.  A hug or a prayer can go a long way to assure those with aching hearts that they are not alone.  

When I was studying to gain my certification in hospice, the one thing that stuck in my mind the strongest was that more than anything those who were going through the process of dying or those who loved the ones who were dying, just needed to feel the presence of the chaplain involved.  It wasn't the words spoken, but the mere fact that someone was there who represented God and the hope He provides.  At such times words fall very short but love and hope are always welcome.  

As we decorate our homes and prepare for the holiday season, let's make time for those around us who may be struggling.  If it is possible, maybe set another place at the table for someone who otherwise would be alone.  Buy an extra gift to show them they are remembered and loved.  Spend time with someone who is hurting. And most of all, pray for those who are grieving and ask the Lord to wrap His holy arms around their shoulders as they walk through the days ahead.  

If you are one who is hurting right now, I want you to know that I am praying for you.  I may not know you personally but I love you still.  Most importantly though, I want you to know that you are not alone.  Your Father in Heaven loves you.  He is always there and He is fully aware of your situation.  He has promised in His Word that He will "bind up your wounds".  Whatever He has promised, He will do.  Even if you have never done so before, I urge you to reach out to Him.  He loves you more than you can ever imagine.  God bless. 

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