Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: An Ever-Present Help
By Susan Gurney
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For a long time I’m afraid I allowed fear to hold me in its grip. It was like I was tied to a rock at the edge of the ocean and constantly battered by the waves of life. Each wave that struck seemed a little higher, and seemed to push me and my rock a little deeper into the sand. I am a Christian, but instead of looking up to the Lord for my help, I kept looking down at my circumstances. –And the circumstances seemed to bind me ever tighter to that old rock of hopelessness. Gradually, however, through God’s patient faithfulness and love, I’ve come to realize that God wants me free—free to serve him, free to praise him, free to be carried by him through the breakers of life into a dry, peaceful land of safety. He has proved to me over and over that he is always there for me--no matter what happens, no matter where I’m at. Indeed, he IS my “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Now has come a time of quietness in my life. The Lord has dried me off from a flood of tears, he has pulled me up out of one more pit of despair, and his arms of love have steadied me through another reeling of my world. It is time to praise God for his mercies, to reflect on his goodness, and to confidently prepare for the next upheaval of life.
Lest you think all is perfect in my little world, let me assure you that it is not: I am still dealing with the grief of having my dear niece murdered three months ago, apparently by her own husband; my own husband has so many health problems that his doctor is reduced to trying to find one more pill to combat the side effects of a dozen other pills; the two glaucoma surgeries I’ve had over the last few months have apparently been for naught; and through it all we are trying to raise our twelve year old step-niece whom we adopted three years ago.
Because of a faithful God, today my life is peaceful and calm. –But tomorrow may bring sorrow or heartache or terror or despair. Tomorrow may find another loved one suddenly gone. Tomorrow may find my world turned topsy-turvy once again because of a natural disaster or because of some act of evil touching close to home. For all I know tomorrow may never come for me—or for the very world itself. No one knows what tomorrow holds. No one, that is, except the Creator of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Praise God, for he is that Creator—and praise him, that he is that “ever-present help in trouble!”
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