He Is There

Chaplain Gary Yarbrough
Shelby Baptist Medical Center

In me it is dark, but in you there is light.

I am lonely, but you do not leave me.

I am faint hearted, but with you there is help.

I am restless, but with you there is peace.

In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience.

I do not understand your ways, but you know the right way for me.

The words above were written by pastor, teacher, and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer during his imprisonment during WWII.  In simplicity of heart, mind, and spirit, Bonhoeffer captures the essence of life in the midst of chaos and tragedy.  On the one hand, we hear his despondency and despair.  On the other hand, we sense a strong abiding faith in God’s presence.

Though we can feel the rumblings of wars and rumors of wars, the groaning and roaring from the deep waters, God’s love and mercy still endures to all generations.  He is still our refuge and strength; a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46).

Though we may experience the death and great loss of a loved one, we take hold of God’s promises.  In the same moment, it’s as if we are taking hold of God and letting go of our loved one.  There is no boundary in-between.  In all things, we cast our care on Him who cares for us. (I Peter 5:7). 

Life’s experiences may cause us to question God’s way.  The gift of faith causes us to say, “You know the right way for me.”

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.  For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well (Ps. 139:7-14).”

Prayer:  LORD, we give You thanks and praise for Your presence with us.  By Your Spirit, lead us in Your ways and we shall know with full assurance Your healing love, mercy, peace, and strength.  In the name and spirit of the risen Christ, we pray.  Amen.

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