Friday, April 18, 2014

Amid Trying Times

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18 NIV)

Trying Times
While many parts of the U.S. were facing frigid cold conditions the last few months, many people in the tropical countries were facing the exact opposite—extreme heat and drought. Going outdoors to chill out and relax was near impossible, and many turned to the shopping malls and air-conditioned rooms indoors instead.

Like the discomfort we feel during extreme weather conditions, we know how we feel during times of extreme distress, sadness or desperation. If a loved one is ill and needs medical attention amid the worst of times when we are struggling to make ends meet, how would we feel? If we are out of a job and something came up that needs us to increase our financial support for a dependent, would we stay nonchalant? More often than not, multiple problems in life come at the same time, and we are frequently left helpless and desperate at our wits’ end.

Are we facing multiple problems and desperately seeking help? Are we feeling all dried up and in desperate need to calm down and relax? If we are, then we need to turn to God to find relief rather than seek addictive alternatives like drinking, smoking or drugs. Such unhealthy addictions do not provide relief but add up to greater despair.

Too often we are burdened by the cares in our lives to make time to chillax. We worry too much for an extended period, and in our desperation or extreme distress condition, we turn to unhealthy or addictive alternatives for comfort instead of crying out to God for help.

The psalmist exhorts us to cry out to the Lord who hears us and delivers us from all our troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those of us who are crushed in spirit. We may have many problems, but we can rest assured the Lord will deliver us from them all (Psalm 34:17-19).

Make time, therefore, to go to a quiet place to get some rest amid difficult and trying times. Cast our cares and anxiety on the Lord, for He cares for us and will sustain us, and not let us be shaken (Mark 6:31; Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7).

Hear our cries, dear Lord, in our times of need and desperation. Deliver us from all our troubles, for we are unable to handle them on our own. You know, Lord, every of the troubles we are facing and the burdens we are carrying. Grant us relief, O Lord, and sustain us. Do not let us be shaken, for our hearts are weak and broken, and we are crushed in spirit. Draw us close to You, Lord, so that we might not go astray to seek alternatives in our moments of weakness. Help us plan our time and schedules wisely, Lord, so we might make time to calm down, relax, and rest in Your presence. 

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