“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or show him the path of understanding?” Isaiah 40:11-14
A friend of mine put the first part of this as her status on Facebook tonight. I’ve read the verses before. Tonight it’s comforting to know that it’s okay that I don’t understand some things. It’s okay because “He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.” As much as I want to understand things that happen, there are just some things that that’s not gonna happen.
Last week was a heavy week. While I was rejoicing with a friend, who was diagnosed with cancer at 29, for her 9-month cancer-free checkup, another friend was diagnosed with cancer at 29. There was a little 3-year-old girl that they found a tumor on. I haven’t heard if it was said to be cancer or not, but it’s scary for the family. A friend’s 20-year-old daughter has been having troubles with high blood pressure. Come to find out she was born with one kidney, which is the cause of the high blood pressure. Found out last week that kidney wasn’t functioning at full capacity. Today? This girl’s twin sister found out that she has a lesion on her kidney. A friend at my church lost her grandfather and found out her mother has cancer.
These are the times that you just want to look up at the sky and scream at the top of your lungs, “God! What is going on? Why is this all happening?”
It’s times like this when all you can do is think, Man, this really sucks.
There are things that I want to say to my friends to give them comfort. There are things that I want to do for them to help make the pain go away. I don’t have the words, but I can walk with them. I can’t make it go away, but I can walk with them. I can sit with them. I can pray with them. And I can help to meet their needs today.
Two weeks ago my friend, who is also my pastor, posed two questions at our Sunday morning gathering. What can The Journey do for you and your family right now to meet your needs? And what can The Journey do for our county right now that would meet the needs of our neighbors? This week he posed another question. Why in the world would a nonbeliever want to come to church? What would they find that’s relevant to their life right now?
I’ll have to admit we all read this blog that I’ve mentioned on here before. She calls herself Jamie the Very Worst Missionary. This post struck a chord with all of us. Why? It’s what we’ve been working towards. It’s how we feel the church should operate as a body of believers.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
Note that it doesn’t say the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved and then they gave to anyone as he had need. Let’s face it. If we’re not being relevant in peoples’ lives right here and now, they’re not going to give us a second look to learn about what we can offer them for their future.
We are present here and now. What I can offer to my friends right now is a shoulder to cry on. I can be present in their lives for support or whatever it is that they need that I can give. I can pray for them, and I can try to remember that I just can’t solve all of the problems. I’m not going to understand what is going on right now. But I can be here and I can be relevant in their lives.
Will you pray for my friends with me?