Healing doesn’t come with an overnight guarantee and it does not look the same for everyone. When He created us, God knew what each of us would be able to endure but, even in our trials, He has promised to be with us.
Our church leadership team is in the process of launching a campaign to help the homeless. This group of people is in a devastating and oppressive situation. However, I still see opportunities for God to intervene and bring healing and wholeness.
There are some who are legitimately in need. Those who, despite all their efforts, have fallen on difficult times and need help to get back on their feet. Then there are some who have chosen not to work and prefer to solicit funds from passers-by. They may take money from others and use it to purchase drugs and alcohol to feed addictions or self-medicate mental illnesses. The Bible says that the poor will be with us always (Mark 14:7) but we are encouraged to help and assist in every instance, whether through prayer or financial assistance.
I recently had a conversation with an individual who was once homeless, and her mindset was to believe that she would eventually be delivered from this situation. You see, this person was homeless with a baby. She had to believe that better was coming, not only for herself, but for the blessing that she was given through this child. She made a conscious effort to not allow past decisions to haunt and distract her from her goal of overcoming her circumstances. Whether it be physically, mentally, or spiritually we can’t lose hope. Eventually, she got on her feet, obtained a degree and is self-sufficient, able to provide for her small family.
On the flip side, I’ve spoken to someone who lives in an abusive situation. Hope has been lost and has been replaced with despair. This individual has concluded that even physical separation from this abuser will be insufficient because the abuse will continue within her mind. That statement is a declaration that her current state is bigger and stronger than a God who said that He is a deliverer. I am by no means minimizing the abuse because it is awful. But what saddens me is the lack of belief. My prayer for this person is to believe. To have faith. I can encourage and listen to this story – and many like it – and offer hope and healing, but if there is no faith for it then what hope is left? I am not cold and callous; I pray fervently because life is hard. We are victimized, and we cannot outrun our trials, either physical or mental. God may choose to deliver some by taking them from this world to experience ultimate healing in His presence. It seemed so unfair when I would watch my grandma, who I believe served God with every fiber of her being, slowly deteriorate from a cruel disease. But I know that now she has encountered a perfect healing that she never would have seen on this side of heaven.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isiah 41:10)
Many years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Yolanda Adams, a well-known gospel artist. I told her that her music helped me when I was in a very dark place in my life, when I received a potentially fatal diagnosis from the doctor. But I never lost hope, even when my faith was tested. Read the lyrics to her song and I pray that you, too, will find hope.
I know that there are times in your life
When the wheels just seem to turn
And uncertainties about your tomorrow seem to grow
… One thing you should remember
And you should always know
Out of everyone who loves you
I love you the most
… I am just a prayer away
Call My name with your heart
And I’ll hear every word you say
… When you cry at night
I’ll wipe the tears away
Just pray, my love
And I’ll be there right away
… You will never have to wonder about My love
Just put your faith and trust in My care
I will always be there to hold you in my arms
… When you’re afraid don’t worry
I’ll protect you from the storm
Out of everyone who loves you
I love you the most-
I am just one prayer away.