“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.” (Psalm 118:6)
It was a tough weekend as I was pre-occupied with pondering. . .
A friend with deep faith and strong commitment to God passed away very unexpectedly. She had requested to be interred in Sierra Leone, Africa. A cousin, I recall meeting when I was only four years old succumbed to a cardiovascular condition. She and her husband had lived successful lives in the field of education with devotion to Christ, in Honolulu, HI. and Urbana, IL. Both their Memorial Services were on the same day. As I contemplated the families and friends navigating the complexities of these two funerals, it occurred to me that the complexities of life are even more menacing.
Although we know not the specifics of the situation the Psalmist was facing at the time, we can learn that we too can cry out to God when we face tough times. (Psalm 118:5) The bold declaration of the Psalmist was not that he was never afraid – but when he was hard pressed, his action plan was:
- His calm assurance was that God was with him. (Ps. 118:5)
- His bold choice was to be un-afraid. (Ps.118:6)
- His unshakable confidence was that God was his helper. (Ps.118:6-7)
Frequently we find anxiety creeping in at tough times such as illness; change in relationships; when relocation is required; or there is evidence of instability at the work place. However, we can permit such experiences to result in our drawing nearer to God.
God’s Word reminds us that “My grace is sufficient for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” (2Corinthians12:9) At times in life, we are bound to encounter mountains we cannot negotiate alone. No matter how hard we try, we will discover we are just unable to venture out on our own abilities. In some of our cultures, we like to think we are self-made men or women. Often this compels us to put in another sixteen-hour day at work. The fact remains that unless we move from self sufficiency to brokenness and reliance on our God it will just not deliver the desired results. When faced with challenges in our life, may we not even dare to wonder if God has abandoned us. When hard pressed, may we find ourselves confidently approaching the Throne of Mercy and prayerfully seeking His presence in time of trouble. “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him.” (Psalm 46:1) MSG