I would like to step away from the verses in Proverbs this month and share some thoughts of encouragement as we navigate these uncertain times. I have had some wonderful conversations with people in all walks of life, and various ages. A common phrase is “I want my life back”. I would ask them what that means and most often the conversation turns to the desire of hope in the future. Hebrews chapter twelve starts by telling us to focus on Jesus who died on the cross because of his love for us. Right before that there is a phrase that says, “since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) Run with endurance? What does that mean? The word here is patience, being able to stand up under the stress and strain of life’s challenges. The chapter begins to tell the stories of people in the Bible who did just that.
“If they can stand up under trials then I can too”
George Washington once said, “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” and “the harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” How about Ronald Reagan who said, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”
I was talking with a couple that lost their jobs recently and set out to start their own business and they were thankful that they were off to a good start. My mind wandered back to stories I heard as a child about my great grandfather on my dad’s side traveling by covered wagon and led by horses from Bucks County Pennsylvania to what is now southern Chesapeake. They came across the Chesapeake Bay on a steam powered barge. They made the trip for farmland and to carve out a lifestyle they believed in. My grandpa on my Mom’s side made the trip from Ohio a few years later and settled in Moyock North Carolina. This country is full of stories where tough times have brought out the best in people.
If those who went before us could do it, then I ask why can’t we? I want to take time to say thank you to all who are trying new things even if it might fail or be more difficult then it used to be. To all those who are on the front lines everyone from our first responders to those helping people fight for their lives every day. We are praying for you and we stand with you as you serve others you may not even know. Thanks to parents and grand parents who are taking care of children and grandchildren, even helping them with their schoolwork. To any others who I may have forgotten, we can do this.
If you are a person who is struggling emotionally, please reach out and ask for help. Every life is important to God and He cares for every detail of your life. Please know that you do not need to struggle alone. You are not alone in your struggle there is help. We will get through this and I pray we will be stronger for it.
May God bless you richly.
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24