Fresh Hope – 4th April 2020

There is a very short verse in the Bible, short, but loaded with meaning found in Philippians 4:5 – ‘The Lord is at hand’.

I often whisper this verse to myself when I’m in an uncertain situation and I need reassurance of God’s presence.

Surely our greatest comfort on this side of eternity is the Lord’s constant presence with us. He is literally right there with us, all the time. Yet there are times, especially when things are difficult, that we struggle to feel, or connect with His presence. Life might not be going the way we want it, especially now when the world is so uncertain of what tomorrow will bring. So many are distressed and gripped with fear and anxiety, and people are battling for their lives or grieving for loved ones, some do not know how they will feed their families in the next few weeks. The world is desperate. When we find our prayers may not be answered the way we had hoped for, and we can start to feel as if God has abandoned us. But he is still right there, whether we feel it or not.

Five years ago, I went through the biggest challenge of my life when we sadly lost our first child Ethan after a 7-week battle in a neo-natal unit. Ethan was born preterm, and after he passed, my heart was torn to pieces. I could feel the pain in my heart as if it was being cut through with a saw. I felt so many emotions; grief, anger, disappointment, anxiety, fear and had so many questions that needed answers. I remember feeling like that was also the end of my life, I could not imagine myself smiling again or ever being happy again because the hurt I felt was so intense. I was desperate for the quiet times I spent alone, hoping to find God in those quiet moments, and for Him to bring some sort of answers and comfort, yet I struggled to find Him.

In those times when grief and loss overcome us, God can be so close, yet we struggle to see Him. We struggle and fail to hear His voice at that time. This can happen so easily in times of sickness or times of distress. But in the midst of our distress, in the midst of the storm, He is the still small voice. Our spiritual eyes need some time to get used to an unexpected set of circumstances. It may take time before we realise His closeness. But, take heart, the Lord is always at hand.

I encourage you friend to take this time to spend time in God’s presence. Just find a quiet space and read His word, put on some worship music, make yourself available to Him, get to know him more. His presence is uplifting, it brings perfect peace and gives a firm assurance that no matter what is going on, He is in control. And when God is in control we can rest.

I look back at how life has been restored in the past, how since then I have experienced my best days such as the birth of our son who is now five years old and await the precious gift that I carry. God has not only restored but replaced happiness with joy, pure joy that only He can give!

This too shall pass.

 Christine Mudenha

A daily devotion for a better way of living.