He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
Frequently, I will be told, “I do not think I can handle anymore bad news!”
As a Pastor I have stood and wept with friends who are bearing more burdens than is fair nor than I can imagine bearing myself. That’s the key word, myself.
God has done two things to make sure I am never by myself during times of difficulty.
First, He has promised to be with me always (Matthew 28:20), to share my burdens (Matthew 11:30), and not to let anything separate me from His love (Romans 8:37-39). When I remember these promises, I am confidant of His presence and am not afraid when the darkness of the world overshadows me. I know He is with me.
This is when David’s affirmation in Psalm 112:7 makes perfect sense in my heart, mind, and spirit. I am never alone because God is with me.
However, I must confess there are times when shadows are so deep and threatening that my heart, mind, and spirit cannot fathom the presence of God. Even though God has always proven Himself to me during seasons of difficulty, there are times when my faith wavers and dims and I feel horribly alone.
This is when God’s back-up plan is a blessing which overcomes my overwhelming sense of loneliness. His second blessing is that He has placed me within a community of faith. In His gracious mercy, He has brought me into the Body of Christ, the Church.
Frequently, I am told, “I would have never made it without my friends in the church!”
God envelopes us in His loving arms through sisters and brothers in the Church. God makes His presence real, fleshy, warm, and fuzzy through the Body of Christ.
The Church is God’s Body, His presence with us, when to our insides, in our heart, mind, and spirit, God seems absence. When we are alone on the inside, God is with us on the outside through brothers and sisters in His Church. Friends who care for us with their bodily presence.
Frequently, I will say to a member who has stopped participating in the church, “We miss you!”
In response they will tell me, “All is going well in my life … I do not need the church, right now!”
I sigh, grateful that all is well with their soul today. Then I simply say, “But some body in the church needs you to be His God-in-the-flesh, today!”
God still needs you to be His blessing to someone in need, even if you do not need His blessing today.