We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV)
I was away speaking when the tornado struck the mid-south where my family and I live. My children were in “lock down” at school for hours.
My husband felt helpless as our daughter begged from her cell phone, “Come get me, daddy. Please, hurry!” He was desperately trying to retrieve both of our children, but debris from the raging winds blocked his every path. Two hours later, he finally reached the school and found it, along with our children, untouched by the tornado. Our house had been passed over as well. Others were not as fortunate.
As I drew nearer to home, I looked on in disbelieve as I weaved my way through the devastation. It felt as if my town had been ransacked by intruders. I felt cold and naked as I viewed the homes of friends and business that had been stripped bare.
Then, I saw the church. It once was a magnificent church standing tall and proud in our community. It was the symbol of all that was good and right. Now it was wounded and exposed; stripped of her beauty and glory. “Not the church, Lord.” I prayed. As destruction surrounded me, I looked to the heavens and questioned, “How will we survive this awful tragedy?”
Jesus promised that we would encounter trials and tribulation in this fallen world, but we need not despair. Why, because our hope is in God. Hope helps us see the God of restoration instead of becoming paralyzed by the mess of destruction.
We were not alone. Volunteers, workman, friends and neighbors, who put their hope in God, worked together to rebuild our city. It was a precious sight. It was the evidence of hope and the reflection of love.
Right now, you may be surrounded by trouble too, but you are not alone. You cannot be hedged in because you are not without help. You have a great support. God is your helper. You don’t have to be perplexed, uncertain, or concerned about your future. God has promised to deliver you. Even if you are being persecuted by your enemies, rejected or cast down, God says, “I will never leave you.” There’s no need to fight your fears. Put your trust in God and allow His power to work through your weakness. Oh, friend. There’s no need to despair for God is still on His throne working on your behalf.
Months later this truth became apparent as I drove by the church. The yard had been cleaned and the walls patched. It looked as if she had been lovingly dressed up in second-hand clothes. Still recovering from near destruction, her message had not changed. Draped in a large sign that covered the front of her structure, she declared to all, “HE’S STILL GOD!”
In this life, will we be pressed—yes, crushed—sometimes, perplexed—often, but never in despair. Because no matter what storm we face, no matter what kind of trouble presses in; and no matter who’s out to get us, the truth remains the same “He’s—Still—God!”
Dear Lord, may we never live in despair when trouble surrounds us. Help us to trust in the fact that You’re still God and the battle is not our, but yours, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
until next time…God Bless