For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10)
I was in the building one Saturday about a week and a half ago, checking on a few details for our Sages service. As I crossed the narthex and drew near to the church office, I glanced at the office window and saw the picture that accompanies this devotion. I was so struck by what I saw, that I took a picture of it for no reason I could identify. It simply captured my attention. Just two days before I had seen the flowers on the counter looking terrific as I left the building in the afternoon, and just thirty-six hours later they looked like this. I have no idea why. But the image has held my attention for over a week now.
The image stuck with me, most likely, because it has been “that kind of week.” We have had the death of a long-time, loved member in our congregation … we have had a man going in and out of the hospital trying to get an infection cleared up … I struggled to banish from my mind some of the images of flooding in Mt. Joy, just down the pike from us … I saw a request to our prayer chain for a family that lost a daughter to an opiod overdose … I spent a bit of time with a church member whose marriage is struggling. It has been that kind of a week. A week filled with fragility.
So often we are struck by the strength we see in others. The stories sometimes make the news, or they circle around our group of friends as people acknowledge the fortitude a person exhibits. We love accounts of survivors and tales filled with real life heroics. But just as often, I am struck by the fragility of life, and the sense that some people are one step … one medical bill … one family problem away from crisis. In the middle of those moments, I am reminded of the precious gift of life, and the ease with which we can sometimes take that gift for granted.
So as you pray for those in trouble … those with homes flooded … those with loved ones dying … those whose families are struggling — give thanks to God for moments of peace … moments of clear blessing … moments of stability. Acknowledge the call of God to live each day as its own blessing in the midst of a tumultuous world. And recognize the opportunity and privilege that you have to share those blessings of God with others for whom they may serve as a lifeline and a gift of solace in their troubled worlds.