By Pastor Stuart Weist
First Baptist Church of Preston
Where do you look for strength when your entire world is upside down? As a pastor I have counseled many on finding hope in the Lord. I have sat bedside with many people experiencing trials and held the hands of some as they passed. However, it is often much easier to comfort others than to comfort self. Recently, I had a family member suffer a major medical emergency which turned my whole world upside down. In what started as a typical day ended in a waiting room outside the ICU at Saint Marys hospital. As everything started to sink in, life suddenly stopped, and my world seemed to be turned upside down.
Each day has consisted of waking early to get in a walk to collect my thoughts. Driving to the hospital and working from the various waiting rooms in between visits with my loved one. Days in the ICU slip by like water, and weeks evaporate. Even this devotion is written overlooking the hospital’s emergency entrance.
All of this has had me reflecting on the comfort, God, faith, and hope. As you can imagine, the ICU is quiet, so it’s easy to allow the mind to wander. Often my reflection is broken by other families who are making decisions for the end of life for their loved ones. Tears are common and even visiting with the nurses reminds me of the heavy heart toll with which life and death take on a person. So, what is a pastor to do? Where does he go for comfort? Scripture, of course.
Isaiah 41:10 becomes personable giving strength not to the patient but to me. Reflecting on God as my strength and guide; knowing that He is the true keeper of life and death. Doctors and nurses do a fantastic job in all that they can, but the Lord is the only one that can wipe away all our tears and remove our pain (Rev. 21:4). He is to be our guide and friend. He is our true comfort. The problem I see is in the hopelessness of those that don’t know Christ. There is a drastic difference in people of faith who can look at the doctor and say, “You’re doing all you can and it’s going to be ok,” as opposed to those looking to the doctor as their savior. Psalm 34:18 says, “God is near the brokenhearted.” The question is are you near the Lord? Matthew 11:28-30 invites us to bring our burdens to the Lord, but you must be willing to trust in him. Why would anyone want to suffer the grief in trials alone when they could have the ever-present Lord by their side (Psalm 46:1). Knowing the Lord and having a local church helps us to share the burden. It gives strength and comfort in a time of need.
So, I challenge you this week, where do you turn when you world is upside down? Do you turn to God?