Free will is part of God’s creative plan, therefore He does not stop the storms we encounter in life. However, He promises to always walk with us in the beauty & the suffering we encounter in life.
A well-known quote in the Old Testament in the Bible from the book of Ecclesiastes supports the words of the timeless nature of the Bible as it states: “To everything there is a season & a time for every matter under heaven.” Some seasons we encounter in our life bring us joy & celebration. Others bring us challenge & suffering. It is in those seasons of suffering that we often find ourselves feeling lost & stuck in feelings of doubt & hopelessness. I think it is more than likely, most of us would agree, that the season we find ourselves in at this time right now in our lives, is very challenging & at times it is easy for us to get stuck in feelings of hopelessness & despair. After all, it cannot be denied that over the past few years we all have experienced serious threats to life as we have known it with the: covid virus, various life-threatening situations that have increased the number of death of our loved ones, increasing hate crimes & subsequent violence in our world, needless warring & climate changes causing tremendous environmental disasters such as flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, etc. It is easy to feel afraid, helpless & hopeless in these seasons & to doubt & perhaps to even wonder where God is in all of these dark seasons, don’t you think? They all demand so much attention, that sadly at times, we might even forget God has promised to be walking with us. Sometimes no matter how hard we try to find answers to solve the crisis we face we just cannot find answers on our own & hopelessness sets in, immobilizing us. However, stagnation is not part of God’s plan for His creation. We do not live alone but with God ever walking with us. We are a resilient people living in an everlasting covenant relationship with our Holy Creator who is our refuge & our strength. In partnership with our living Lord, standing on the promises of God, we are able to transcend the storms of life & go forward for God has promised to protect us. When we pause amidst the chaos of suffering & darkness & remember God’s Holy covenant with us, we will be able to transcend quickly & with total confidence, from fear, doubt & hopelessness into the Light that brings new life.
God does not expect us to do what we cannot do. He does, however, supply us with the strength, courage & wisdom we need to move from the dark seasons that life brings us, into the Light. Faith is the opposite of doubt & fear. It is our faith & trust in our living Lord that is the bedrock of hope & it is hope that is the fuel for our healing. When we can pause amidst all the turmoil of suffering & remember God’s promise to be our refuge & strength & to never leave us, we will step out of despair & hopelessness & reclaim the strength that God gives to us, for new life is promised & comes from God alone. Not all storms come to disrupt our life. Some come to clear our path. The path to resilience amidst the despair comes from God alone. No matter how severe the storm may be, when we walk with God there is always a rainbow waiting at the end.
As we move away from doubt, fear & hopelessness, it is the Holy Scriptures that reinforce our faith & it is prayer that connects us in God’s Holy covenant. Prayer lays hold of God’s plan & becomes the link between His will & it’s accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen in our life in covenant with God & we are given the privilege of being channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer. Let us pray together then, a prayer that links us to God’s will as we continue on our journey from the darkness of fear, doubt & hopelessness into faith & resilience, embracing the scriptures that inform God’s nature in which we are created as stated in: Psalm 91: naming God as protector, Psalm 46: naming God as our refuge & our strength, Psalm 23: naming God as our shepherd, 1 John 4:7, Romans 8:28 & others: stating God is love:
Prayer: Holy Living God, we humbly come before you this day, we celebrate your inclusion of us into your sacred promised covenant & we ask that you will guide us to use all the resources you grant us to extending good news, healing & hope to those who: suffer, ignore, doubt & deny, that all may be drawn together by One Spirit, to the love, peace, grace & hope you give & the high purpose to which you call us. Inspire us to witness to your love, strengthen our faith & hope Lord, that our spirits may be empowered & heal. Lead us into your everlasting Light. We pray in your Holy name, AMEN.
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy
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