I knew better than to click on the YouTube video of the cute puppy in the shelter. When my daughters lived at home, they’d run interference for me. “Don’t watch that movie,” they’d warn when a preview came on. Or they’d say, “It was a good movie, but Mom can’t watch it.”
They know I’m tenderhearted and have a tendency to carry images around in my mind for a long, long time. That’s why they try to protect me from sad animal stories, news reports about neglected children, and tales about the abused elderly.
But sometimes the stories still sneak by. I hear about broken marriages, natural disasters, and suicide bombers. Fighting church members, hungry toddlers, and drug addicted homeless people. Cancer-stricken friends, bankrupt small business owners, and wayward children.
And my heart breaks. It aches for every hurting soul that walks this broken world.
I know the answers—that sin has been wrapping its poison tentacles around our planet since Eve’s sin in the garden, and no generation is exempt. That we are engaged in a cosmic battle between good and evil that won’t be resolved until Christ returns. That people will continue to hurt, kill, and destroy each other until the Prince of Peace reigns over all.
And while all creation groans to split its death-stained exoskeleton and be clothed in the light and life of its original, sinless skin, we must endure a little while longer.
These nine life preservers of truth comfort me when I am overwhelmed, and I cling to them:
God never intended mankind to experience sickness, loss, and death. He created the world to be perfect (Genesis 1:31).
He weeps with us, and we share in his suffering (Romans 8:17).
Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20).
When the burdens get too heavy, we can cast our burdens on him, and he will sustain us (Psalm 55:22).
Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
These momentary light afflictions are accomplishing in us an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Eternity is forever. We do not lose hope, knowing that our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that awaits us (Romans 8:18).
And so we cry, crawl up into God’s warm embrace, accept the grace he extends to us, and press on.
What truths from Scripture comfort you when you feel overwhelmed? I encourage you to think on them today. “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4
Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. Her latest book, Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women, helps women connect to God in the craziness of life. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time (www.lorihatcher.com). Her book is available on Amazon http://amzn.to/1x39tq8.