8 day plan

Hope in a Time of Disaster

Day 5 of 8

Psalms 23:4

4Even when I go through the darkest valley,

I fear no danger,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff — they comfort me.

Reflections: It is said that life wasn’t meant to be easy. In the light of Genesis, perhaps we can question this? However, most of us know that life includes difficult times and hardships. We hope that these might be minimal, but natural disasters and tragedies remind us how fragile that hope can be sometimes. Suffering is a part of life that needs to be faced. We shouldn’t give in to pessimism and we should never give up our hope. However, when we face the troubles of life and call on God to bring us through them, then we are more likely to find healing and recovery. It is natural to feel deeply, and anger is a part of shock and grief, but we should not give in to bitterness and despair. With the love of God for us, and sharing that love as a gift with others, we can find meaning and purpose in our living and help others do the same.  As we share his love may we all know the blessings of his compassion and grace.

Prayer:
It is there God.
We don’t want it to be.
We try to ignore it
We try to shut it out.
We try to pretend it is not real, or that it is not real for us.
But it is there, right in our faces sometimes,
Particularly in the wake of disasters,
– the darkness
– the sad side
– the valley of the shadow of death.
And even though we know that you are with us, and you are there to comfort us,
Our fear makes it hard to face
and we would often give anything just to avoid having to live through such times and experiences.
The scriptures remind us that such struggles as these carry blessings which arise from the tribulations, but we would have you save us from such times of trial.
And yet we know that suffering is an unavoidable part of our existence.
God save us in the times of trial and deliver us from evils.
May we be humble enough to ask for help.
May we share our burdens with each other, that in giving of ourselves we may receive care and support, and in receiving the cares of others we might give love and comfort.
Help us to find hope and bring hope to others.
May we not vomit the bile of our suffering upon people we may encounter,
But give us the faith to vent our pain and hurt to you
Bear our anger and frustration,
Our ignorance and accusations,
Just as you bore such pain on the Cross.
Redeem our suffering and grow within us the seeds of healing and wholeness.
that we might find faith enough to grasp your love.
Bless us with your peace that we might be a blessing to others.
May your compassion dwell within us that we might embody it for others.
May we be patient and graceful.
May we be kind and grace-filled.
God of love,
May we recognise your presence,
in the touch of your Spirit,
in the people we encounter
and in our human being.
Jesus walk with us
Calm the tempest within us
Lead us in your way into hope and the future.
This we pray.
Amen.

Days

Psalms 23:1-6

Psalm 23

The Good Shepherd

A psalm of David.

1The Lord is my shepherd;

I have what I need.

2He lets me lie down in green pastures;

he leads me beside quiet waters.

3He renews my life;

he leads me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

4Even when I go through the darkest valley,

I fear no danger,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff — they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

as long as I live.