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Even when I think I am alone, God is my help

I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?  2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;

He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.  6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.  8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Psalms 121 (New King James Version)

When I was a child, there was a saying that many of the elders would say “God will not put anything on you that you can not stand.”  As I have grown up and gone into pastoral ministry, I realize that that statement is not completely accurate.  A more accurate statement would be, God will not put anything on you that you cannot stand with him by your side.

As a pastor people give me the privilege of sharing life’s joys and sorrows with them. I have had an opportunity to take part in births and baby dedications, baptisms and marriages. I have walked with families through family crises, illness, and death.  Some of the situations that I have seen individuals and families endure have been so difficult that one might wonder how anyone could go through them without breaking.  I have seen families shattered, I have seen individuals broken.  I have also seen people who have stood strong and endure through the difficulty.  In every case, the people who endured had a few things in common.  First, they had at least one other person in their life who was willing to walk with them through their difficulty.  This is important for us to remember when we have people in our lives who are going through difficult times. We may need to be the person that walks with them through the hard time

The second thing that all the people who endured the hardship had in common was that they leaned on God through the hardship.  We need not try to endure hardship alone.  It is important for us to remember God will not abandon us.  I think sometimes pastors can spend so much time preaching this truth to others that we sometimes forget that it applies to us as well.  I am speaking from experience.  In 2015 our family was blessed to expand.  We adopted three little boys.  As we went through the adoption process it became clear that at least two of our three sons might present some challenges because of the things they had endured in their young lives.  We stepped into this situation knowing this possibility,.  Early on there were indeed some challenges, one of the boys had emotional issues, and another was developmentally delayed, but none of this seemed to be at a level that was going to be overly difficult to deal with.  One by one each of our boys went off to school.  The oldest two performed OK in school.  Our youngest had trouble focusing, and was disruptive.  After numerous doctors visits it was suggested that we give him medication.  I have always been against giving medication to children, for over year I fought against giving my son any medication  My wife and my son’s Dr. finally convinced me that we needed to try something.  And so we did, and we saw improvement, but there were many struggles yet to come.  Right now one of my sons sees three doctors and a caseworker to help him deal with issues that he has as a result of neglect when he was a baby.  Another of my sons also sees three doctors, he has gone through an extensive battery of tests at KU medical center and has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  He is going to turn six in a few weeks but he is functioning at the level of 4 year old.  This has caused a myriad of problems with school, but thanks be to God we have an outstanding elementary school that has been willing to work with us.  The fact is, it has been hard for my wife and sometimes it seems like we are all alone, but then I am reminded that I am far from alone. Many parents have endured even more difficult circumstances than us.  We are blessed to be a part of a community that has embraced our family.  We are blessed to have people who have been willing to be positive role models in  our children’s lives, and we am blessed to know that  even though there are times that seem difficult and we feel all alone, we are never alone, we can look to the hills where my help comes from and know that God is with us.  He will not let us fall.  We are never alone.  Praise God we are never alone. God will not put anything on us that we cannot stand with him by our side.    Amen

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