In 1962, my brother and I snuggled next to my mom. We rode in the back of a dilapidated truck around the mountains in Bolivia. “When will we get there?” I asked her as my ten-year-old mind anticipated fun moments in the tropical area of Bolivia.
But to get there, we risked our lives. The only way to reach our destination was to travel on the most dangerous road in the world.
The narrow one-lane, dirt road had no barriers. One wrong turn of the wheel would plunge the vehicle down the huge cliff. Hundreds of crosses marked the spots where fatal accidents took place.
One such accident reached the news recently. The injuries included a young man paralyzed. His family, American missionaries, sent prayer requests through cyberspace.
How does that happen? He walked only moments earlier, paralyzed the next.
Tragedy barges in.
Why is it that on the road of life, tragedy barges in unannounced? It catches us unprepared, vulnerable to its cruelty.
I tasted that heartache when COVID struck our home. I recovered with God-given natural protocols.
But my precious 92-year-old Mom had a different kind of victory as the Lord called her home.
I experienced the deep pain of having to say goodnight to my joy-filled Mom who lived with us for nearly 30 years. In our human mind, that sudden painful change has no reason. But through reflection and in moments of silence in His presence, I also learned God’s restoring love has no limit. And this truth will allow me to say “good morning” in heaven someday.
When days drag on, and when we think life’s too much, God offers the freedom from the prison of sorrow and heartache. They’re included in these seven promises.
- We count on His help, constant and never changing because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV). He’s present when tears flow unexplained. He’s present when the burden presses down. And He’s by us when the void aches within.
- We silence words of self-pity or sorrow as we declare “My lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live…” (Psalm 63:4a NIV). Even in the midst of sobs, we give Him glory for His power at work. For His love that soothes. and for His promises that hold us up.
- Rather than gaze at our pain, we repeat the psalmist words, ”I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV). His help is timely. His help is perfect. And it’s the one our heart needs.
- Our heart may be broken, but our soul is intact. “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:5 NIV). Although life may seem unfair, we count on the richness of His provision. He will provide the comfort, the peace and the reassurance for every desperate moment.
- We thank Him for the sweet sleep that will come because “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night because you are my help…” (Psalm 63:6 NIV). God does not slumber or sleep so that we can. We rest in His presence and sleep on the pillow of His whisper.
- We claim His power, knowing where we find protection. “We sing in the shadow of your wings. Our soul clings to you…” (Psalm 63:7 NIV). His Wings protect us. His refuge covers us. And His embrace gives us life.
- We declare: Lord, we will not faint because “Our soul clings to you; your right hand upholds us” (Psalm 63:8 NIV). We may feel weak. We may stumble. But we’ll never fall, His strong arm sustains us.
Let’s Pray: Father, I praise you for already knowing the help we would need, the comfort we would desire, and the reassurance we would call for. Thank you for going before us to prepare the healing and the restoration of our peace. I thank you in Jesus’ name.
To whom will you turn when life becomes too much?
Janet P. Eckles