Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #35

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In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Isaiah 63:9 (NIV)

We were on vacation with friends, driving to a rocky cove to go snorkeling. It was rainy and the road was slick. As we rounded a curve, in front of us was a motorcycle on its side, its rider lying with a severe head injury in the middle of the road. We stopped and my friend, one of the most compassionate women I know, jumped out of the car, knelt beside the injured, and cradled his bleeding head in her hands. She spoke gently to him, praying over him until help arrived. I will never forget it. I thought “this is exactly what Jesus would do.”

We never know what life will throw our way. When we entered 2020 who would have guessed what this year would look like? It is obvious that no one saw this coming. Except the One who knows all things.

He knew that accident would happen on that rainy road, and in what is so much more than a coincidence, he had us arrive at just the right moment. Through his daughter, Jesus cradled the head of that injured man.

Jesus knew that this pandemic was coming. And He gives us this promise in Isaiah 63:9: “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”

The history of Israel in the Old Testament is one of real life. They faced persecution, slavery, bondage. They constantly turned their backs on the Lord. Sounds a lot like us today. We are in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. At the same time, the world goes on, mostly ignoring the God who loves them, and in all our distress, shares our distress.

Have you noticed that some of the shortest phrases in the Bible are the most impactful? This is certainly true with this one: God shares our distress. COVID-19 related or brought on by a myriad of other everyday experiences. He does so through others in the family of God who draw alongside in times of distress, and by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in all who have been redeemed by His love and mercy. He continues to lift us up and carry us.

The pandemic is not over. In fact, we are now having to deal with the “second wave.” Be assured that in this time of distress, God is right there with you. Look for Him in a compassionate act of someone He sends your way – to use the analogy in our text, “the angel of His presence.”

God loves you. He is walking through all you are facing, caring deeply for you. As He has done so often in the past, you can count on His love and mercy right now.

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.