Doug Creamer: Being there
A church family has heard from heaven about a new assignment, and sadly, we have to let them go. They are dear friends who I have known and worked closely with for over ten years. I’ve watched their kids come along and am privileged to teach some of them in children’s church.
This couple has an awesome gift for leading worship. They have led me into the presence of the Lord on many Sunday mornings. It will be hard to attend church and not hear their voices streaming from the speakers. I will miss the husband’s enthusiasm and the wife’s solos. I will miss their kids’ high energy and developing faith. But we are called to bless them and release them into God’s plans for their lives. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye.
Another dear friend of ours had to say an even more difficult good-bye. Her father departed this earth to go to his eternal home. We went to a packed service on Sunday to support our dear friend in her hour of need. The pastor shared some special stories about her dad, some of which had the crowd laughing.
I never met my friend’s father, but from the sound of the stories, I wish I had. He sounded like a rascal, always up to something. The stories reminded me of my uncle. He was always pulling pranks on people. My aunt told me after he passed that he often felt guilty for teasing me and it would even keep him awake at night. But first thing next morning, he was at it again, trying to pull something on me.
I have a feeling my friend’s father was just like that, the life of every party. There was a big turnout to support the family in their loss. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ? We should be there to listen, laugh, cry, and pray with and for each other. Life is not easy and we need other.
I know I could pick up the phone and call some good friends or anyone in my family and they would be right here for me. They would support me, encourage me, and do whatever needed to be done. I have several pastors in my life who are also close because we have been there for each other. They have encouraged and challenged me and I have encouraged and been there for them.
When life is sunny and great we all have lots of friends, but the true test of friendship is when life gets stormy. Where are your friends when the lightning strikes and the thunder rolls? A good friend makes his or her way through the storm to you. They will love and support you, and carry you if necessary, until the storm passes and you can begin to walk on your own. Even then they won’t leave your side because they are friends.
I wonder sometimes how people make it without the Lord. How do they accept the passing of a loved one? How do they face tragedy? There are car crashes, house fires, accidents, job losses, divorce, and the list goes on. The only way I see of making it through such pain is with the help of the Lord.
God is closer than any friend. God will never leave us or forsake us. God will keep His angels around us. God has promised to send us the Comforter, the Counselor, His Holy Spirit. There is nothing too big for God. There is nothing too difficult, or too far gone, that God can’t intervene and change circumstances, or bring His comfort to see us through.
God cares more about every situation in your life than you do. His solution will sometimes lift you over or around a situation. Sometimes His plan is for you to walk through a situation, BUT you will NEVER walk alone. God was with Daniel in the lion’s den and the three men who were thrown into the fiery furnace. God was with each martyr in what appeared to be a hopeless situation.
I want to encourage you if you find yourself in a dark place, pray and ask God to help you. Phone a friend or family member who will stand with you. Get your church family praying. Prayer has the power to bring peace and comfort, saturated in God’s love to those in need. You are not alone. Your friends are with you. But more important, God will be with you until your final breath, when He welcomes you home.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org
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