In difficult seasons
About the author: Karen Cunningham, her husband, Bill, and sons Will and Cameron have attended ZPC since moving to Zionsville in 2004. With a career in marketing, Karen has enjoyed serving on several ZPC communications teams over the years. As a recent empty nester, she enjoys being able to volunteer her time with Parent Life, Campus Life and as a therapy team with her dog, Archie, for Paws & Think.
About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals for Holy Week. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpcdevo to 39970. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
Today's scripture: Isaiah 42:1-4
In today’s fast-paced, perpetually connected world, it seems we are bombarded by stories of conflict, pain, and suffering – in our world, in our country, and even close to home in our communities and families. With constant, easy access to news, the stories can become overwhelming, causing us to lose hope and leaving us wondering where God is in the midst of it all and if collectively, we can truly make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who are suffering. Closer to home, we try to help our family members and friends struggling to cope with various life challenges such as anxiety and depression, serious illness and loss of loved ones.
For our family, the past few months have been particularly challenging as two close family members face recent cancer diagnoses and treatment. While we continue to be present for them as much as possible, it is difficult to see them suffer and we are confronted with the reality that while we wish we could, we just can’t “fix” things.
In difficult seasons of life, it is easy to lose perspective, but this passage reminds us to zoom out from the details and focus on God’s greater promise and plan. We can trust that God IS indeed in ALL the details of EVERY situation and that justice will prevail. God’s servant is strong, mighty and all-powerful, but he will not “shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets” demanding justice. Instead, he is gentle, humble and compassionate and knows the most intimate details of our pain and suffering. He has the power, capacity, and desire to help us and will do so with the utmost care – “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” He is the perfect example for us to follow as we strive to shine his light and make a difference in the world whether far away or close to home. How wonderful that we can come to him with the assurance that he is good, faithful and trustworthy.
We are in awe of you. You have great strength and power, yet you are tender, humble and compassionate. You know the details of each and every situation, and you care deeply about each and every one of us. Thank you for loving us fiercely. Please help us follow your perfect example of kindness, compassion, and humility, and encourage us as we strive to help others. When we falter, remind us that you have the ultimate plan and you are in control. Thank you for your faithfulness and your perfect fatherly love.