|Brick walkway in Magnolia Cemetery ~ courtesy of Betty Talbert Parker|
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all. Psalm 34:19 NRSV
A friend is going through hard times. She’s recently lost a loved one; her children have moved away leaving her with feelings of abandonment; she is suffering with health issues aggravated by stress and grief; and to seemingly add insult to injury, she suffered a freak accident which has spoiled her holiday plans.
My heart goes out to her. But words of encouragement and acts of kindness can only go so far. I cover her with my prayers and trust in God for her.
And the truth is, we all experience times like this, when we feel alone, our hopes and dreams shattered. When hard times come, we run the risk of sinking into self-pity, falling into despair.
But, we, the righteous, have this promise:
For though they fall seven times, they will rise again. Proverbs 24:16 NRSV
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. Micah 7:8 NRSV
We must hold on to this promise.
Daniel believed this. I love the story of his faith. (See Daniel 6:16-24) He was punished for trusting in God and specifically for praying, which defied the king’s orders.
Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!’ Daniel 6:20
And Daniel spent the dark night sitting amongst the lions in the bottom of that deep pit. But the next morning, to the king’s joy and the glory of God, he was found alive and well.
So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. Daniel 6:23b
Let's pray for one another, that our faith will stay strong through the hard times, and pray for God’s mercy and grace to be poured out on those who are suffering. For in time we shall see the victory, for we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. (SeeRomans 8:35-39)
|Magnolia Cemetery ~ courtesy of Betty Talbert Parker|
Special thanks to Betty Talbert Parker of Thomson, GA for allowing me to share her pictures.