And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must occur, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. ~ Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matt. 24:6-8We are seeing these prophetic Words coming to pass right before our eyes. Jesus said these are the beginning of sorrows. The beginning of sorrows....Oh,, LORD, how we need You for courage and direction in these times.
We all have known sorrow to one degree or another. The word "sorrow" in this Scripture means "like pangs of childbirth". For those of us familiar with childbirth, sorrows can come - rising to a level that we think we cannot tolerate another moment of pain - then subsiding to give us some reprieve before the next wave hits. In the last few years, the sorrow that has come to my family seems to have had a tsunami-like effect - just plowing me over, leaving absolute devastation in its quake. It was like I was buried alive, clamoring for a breathe of fresh air. I've reeled under the pressure, but somehow I'm upright again. I've been sustained, due in part to the people in my life that have helped carry the burdens and shoulder my sorrows with very effectual prayers and a listening heart.
Deep distress has always been a part of our humanness. However, I think the magnitude of sorrow that has started coming upon humanity is beginning to leave us breathless, paralyzed with fear, or just plain numb. Maybe, if I don't think about Japan's troubles, it won't affect me. Japan's troubles do affect me just because I'm human, just because we share the same air and water. Human beings are hardwired to care, to feel, to shoulder, and to act because we were created in the imagine of God. In these end times, we may all have to act, repeatedly, to help bear one an other's burdens and ease an other's sorrows - whether it is a $2 donation, time spent in prayer, or a much greater, selfless act of compassion.
Oh, LORD, please keep our humanity active, our emotions alive, and our hearts daring to make a difference. Please keep walls from going up around our hearts and keep our empathy responsive. And, LORD God, please keep us in the palm of Your Hand and demonstrate to those who don't know You as I do, Your love, saving grace, and protection.
In whatever way you are led, please do or give. Because if this really is only the beginning of sorrow, then you and I may one day, also, need humanity's helping hand.