The sorrow and sadness that we feel as a province and nation in the face of unimaginable loss are compounded by the times that we are living in. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with those who mourn, and while we cannot begin to understand their grief, we share our love and concern with them.
Sometimes the most familiar words bring the greatest comfort:
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
My prayer is that everyone, in the words of the late Billy Graham, would be
"certain of finding at sunrise
guidance and strength for the way.
power for each moment of weakness,
hope for each moment of pain,
comfort for every sorrow,
sunshine and joy after rain!”
Let me encourage you in your walk with God today. No matter what is happening around us, or what we may feel about our circumstances, God is faithful and unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is always near to us, even when we can't seem to feel Him.
Thomas Dorsey, a gospel writer and singer, while ministering at a revival meeting, received word that his young wife, Nettie, had died. He writes,
"When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart. For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.
But still, I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Frye, who seemed to know what I needed. On the following Saturday evening, he took me up to Madam Malone’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.
Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, one I’d never heard or played before, and the words into my head-they just seemed to fall into place:
“Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand!
I am tired, I am weak,
I am worn, Through the storm,
through the night lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.”
The Lord gave me these words and melody. He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power. And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home."
Three wonderful promises to hold to during these times are:
1. God loves you: Rom 8:38-39
2. God is with you: Isaiah 41:10
3. God is for you: Rom 8:31; Psalm 118:6
Pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones and friends in this terrible act of violence this past weekend.
Pray for first responders, police, investigators, and all those dealing with the devastation at the crime scenes they were called to and continue to process as part of this tragedy, and pray as well for their families as this is traumatic for them as well.
Pray for spiritual leaders who are directly involved in ministering comfort to those trying to grieve in this difficult time.
Please continue to keep in prayer our Federal and Provincial government, our municipal leaders, our healthcare and frontline workers, and all who are sick with Covid-19.
Pray for the number of new cases in Nova Scotia, and in particular in nursing homes, to be reduced.
Pray for our seniors and those in nursing homes, and their caregivers.
Pray for our economy and businesses to recover.
Pray for countries and peoples who are vulnerable and facing food shortages and famine.
Pray for our missionary families and workers around the world.
Pray for our churches, pastors, our food banks and homeless shelters, our soup kitchens, and all those they serve.