A dear friend was having a bad day and a bad time. Things weren’t going well in her family, and it seemed like positive movement on the issues at hand was elusive to say the least. Not being able to do much of anything else, and feeling rather helpless, I responded to her email with what I hoped would be some encouragement. I’ve reprinted here, with some minor changes, and with her name changed, what I said to her in the hope that it might help someone else.
Janie, we face discouragement and difficulties at every turn, it seems. You encounter medical tests with bad results. You use up your financial cushion and expenses continue to mount. An addiction grabs on to one of your loved ones. You lose your job and have no prospect for other employment. Someone steals your identity. A friend turns on you with vile accusations. Life seems to continue swirling down the toilet. You face dark hours and darker thoughts in the middle of the night. The light of day leaves and the smothering darkness of despair and hopelessness sets in.
Then you get to hold a newborn. Or you see a nest of baby rabbits. Or maybe the hummingbird that has been hanging around hovers right in front of you one day, seemingly desiring to communicate somehow with you. You may see the marvelous web of an orb spider glistening in the sunrise. Someone sends you an encouraging note, by snail mail no less. You hear the unmistakable sound of Peter, Paul, and Mary on a CD. You hear of the selflessness of an ordinary person as he risks life itself to rescue another human being he does not know. Someone pays forward to you a good deed they had done to them a few days before. A young man opens the door for you at the post office.
All of these, Janie, and hundreds more, are God at work to redeem his people and his creation and “make all things new”. (I am tearing up as I write this…I find the thought of God’s love overpowering.) The same God who showed himself to Elijah (I Kings 19) when Elijah thought all was lost and all his work was for naught. The same God who loved the world to the point that he gave his son. The same God who “prepares a place” for us so that one day we can be with him and he with us.
I pray peace and wisdom for you and your family.