One of the things I knew would be difficult was being far away from loved ones during times of crisis. Right now, I have a friend facing possible surgery, another who has lost a loved one, another going through persecution, another struggling with plans that are not coming together as she had hoped.
I feel so far away from them, and even though I know they understand the reason, it still doesn’t feel good. I want to be at the memorial service, I want to be able to sit and chat, I just want to be there!
Compared to the ‘olden days’ of missions, when contact was infrequent, and the only mail was ‘snail mail’ and not always reliable, I’ve got it good. I haven’t attempted to Skype here, but friends of mine have. I’ve been able to keep up this blog, check email and Facebook, etc. But, that’s just not the same as being in the same room.
I knew that at some point this would be something to face, I guess I naively thought it wouldn’t be so soon. I know this is a time to lean into Jesus, to continue to obey His command to abide in Him. I also know I am where I am called to be, and that El-Roi, the God who sees, sees those whom I love who are in pain.
It makes me even more amazed at parents – mine, and all of you others who have kids and grandkids. How tempting it must be to snatch them out of the arms of danger! Of course, as parents, you have also learned that sometimes it is necessary for a child to go through tough stuff to grow.
And, I think of our heavenly Father, who loves us, sees us, and sometimes stays His hand. I don’t have a choice in that right now, but I pray El-Roi will be my eyes, and will make Himself known in tangible ways in the lives of my friends.
The Spirit who hovered over the chaos at the beginning of the universe, hovers now. More, He adds His groans to my prayers, weak and thin and powerless though they sometimes seem. The same Father who saw Hagar in the desert, and who also endured separation from His beloved Son, is here with me, and with my loved ones. The same Jesus who was obedient to His Father’s will, even though it sometimes meant withdrawing instead of healing more people, is with us.
Today, even though my heart is aching, I will trust in You, Father. Today, even though I feel helpless and alone, I will abide in You, Jesus, my True Vine. Today, even though I cannot share the words I would like, I will cling to the assurance that You, Holy Spirit, understand groans which words cannot express. Thank you, All-loving, all-powerful, Almighty God, for who You are. Be our comfort and strong tower today, and always.