Friday, January 22, 2010

From Overwhelming Despair to Overwhelming Victory...

...this is my prayer.

My heart has been very heavy the last two weeks. It started when I recognized the pain of the average American teenager. I work with youth on a regular basis in my church and I see many who struggle with things much like I struggled with as a teenager. The things you don't always recognize is that even the "kid who has it all" struggles on a daily basis. They struggle to fit in with their peers, they struggle to maintain what they know is right and wrong, they struggle to meet their parents' expectations, and they struggle to do good in a world that just isn't. They want to do good, they want to excel, they want to give to others, and they want to be loved.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you." - John 14:16-17

Then there is Haiti. 1.5 million homeless, 70,000 dead in a country with 380,000 orphans. It's just so hard to comprehend. Tears fill my eyes with every news story, with every image. Daily I find myself calling out to God and asking "why?"!

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." - James 1:27

Early Sunday morning, I witnessed the death of a great man, Ralph Morrison Smith, Jason's uncle. I didn't know him that well, but in his death, I found myself wishing I had taken the time to know him better. He was a good man, full of love, the overflowing kind. He lived a self-less life and was always willing to lend a helping hand or just a kind word. I honestly never heard him complain or say a cross word to or about anyone. His son said it best at the memorial yesterday when he said, he truly reflects Christ. I pray that someday someone will be able to say the same about me.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. - John 11:25-26

Following the services yesterday, a tornado ripped through Bradford County. 25 homes were destroyed. Driving through the area this morning, I was devastated to witness what looked like a war zone. Tears filled my eyes and I cried out, "God help them." Again, it's just so hard to comprehend.

I don't know "why", but I do know that God can "help them". Psalm 34:18 says, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Please join me in prayer for all who are struggling in this world today, that they will come to know the comfort of the Holy Spirit and they will have overwhelming victory in Him!

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