This morning, I have a friend with a heavy heart. I prayed for him and for his family; Perhaps you will do so as well — right now. It is yet one more tough weekend in a very tough collection of months.
Later, as I was having my devotions, I came across Psalm 121. It goes as follows:
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps his [Chosen People] will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121)
Hurting friend and hurting friends, your hard day is quite a bit like the Psalmist’s. Who knows what he was plagued with on this particularly sorrowful day. It could have been Saul, Saul’s gestapo, the Philistines, his condition in a cave, his broken spirit, his rogue generals, his rebellious children, his dividend nation, his sinful flesh, or the loss of loved ones. Whatever was happening, it resulted in numerous tears and questions.
Hurting friend and hurting friends, your hard day is quite a bit like the disciples of Jesus on the Saturday following his crucifixion and burial. A host of issues troubled them. A good friend had hung himself on the edge of a cliff. Their best friend had been arrested, tortured, brutalized, crucified, and bread. They had abandoned and betrayed their Lord. Now, they were wanted men on the hit-list of powerful Jewish leaders. Ministry momentum and hope was gone. A dream had been dashed. Had their Teacher been proved a fraud? Surely, there were many tears and questions on that Saturday Sabbath.
Therefore hurting friend and hurting friends, as you shed your tears and state your questions, perhaps some inner peace can be found as you get your eyes off the present pain and focus on the Omnipresent One.
Lord, help me take my tear-filled eyes and look up to your Holy Hill.
I am sure the only person who can help me right now is you – my Heavenly Father
You are the Creator who made heaven and earth
You are the Lord who governs both heaven and earth
You are the Savior who came from heaven to earth
You are the Intercessor who prays in heaven about things on earth
You are the King whose who will one day come back for us from heaven to earth
Then, you will create again; you will make a new heaven and earth
Right now, my foot feels like it is moving; my head is spinning; my heart is breaking
Right now, it seems like you might even be asleep and not aware of my distress
Right now, it seems like you are slumbering and not concerned about my life
However, this you tell me, and this I believe …
You are not sleeping and ill-informed
You are not slumbering and unconcerned
You are my Keeper at my right hand; you are intimately dwelling within me
You are keeping your all-seeing eye and all-powerful hand on me and my family
You will not let our foot be moved
You will not let us be burned
You will not let evil have its way with us
Day and night, here you are
Our lives are in in your hands … all day … every day … any day … today!
Therefore … Help!
I am hurting so badly, and I need a session with you my
Prince of Peace
I am aware that you might not fix what ails me and my family right now
I am also aware that you might not answer all my questions
Help me as you did your servant David; you showed your might, honored your promises, resurrected his hopes and set him to dancing again
Help me as you did your fear-filled disciples; on Easter Sunday, you opened their yes, showed them your power, thrilled them with your glory, resurrected their hopes, and set them to dancing again
Please, my Resurrected, Living, and Compassionate Lord, I am lifting up my eyes to you and your Holy Hill. Resurrect my love, joy, and peace. If you do not help me, I think I will slip and fall to pieces. However, you will not let this happen. You promised! Therefore, help me my God. It is in you that I please my weak and failing faith. So come, Lord Jesus, and prove yourself faithful to me — one more time. I long to dance again.
2 thoughts on “To a Hurting Friend”
SO GOOD, Pastor!
Thanks for these extraordinary words of encouragement!
Happy Easter to the entire Franks family!
From another hurting friend, thank you Joe…a beutiful reminder we don’t walk this hard path alone.