When I was a small child, and something went “bump” in the night and frightened me, I would cry out from the darkness of my room: “Mommy! Mommy! I’m scared!” Mommy would come scurrying, because she didn’t want me to wake my younger sister on the other side of the room.
She would come in and sit on the side of my bed, cradle me in her arms and try to chase my fears away. When my crying had quieted to a whimper, we would pray that timeless bedtime prayer together: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray You, Lord, my soul to keep. Your love be with me through the night. And wake me with the morning light.” There’s another version out there, too!
Throughout life, we have different kinds of “bumps” or fears. There have been fears as we faced surgery, fears as we grieved the death of a loved one, fears of unemployment and yet God has always proven Himself faithful. He has been there in His love through all the “bumps” of life, that we might see the light of His mercy when morning came.
When those bumps appear, God invites us to call out to Him. He invites us to spend more time in His word and hear His comforting voice speak into our circumstances.
This is an unprecedented time in history. There are fears of a virus spreading out of control, fears of how to do social distancing, fears of a plunging stock market, fears of separation from loved ones, even fears there won’t be enough toilet paper.
People of faith, we have the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that is greater than any power this virus or this world knows! We have a Savior who has conquered sin and death and Satan! We have a Savior who lives and because He lives, we will live forever with Him. We can put our faith, our hope, our trust in Jesus during this “bumpy” time and know that no matter what happens, we are loved as evidenced by the nail-scarred hands of our Savior.
Our Savior provides a place of refuge that we might catch our breath and rest in His care. Having been strengthened in our own “bumpy” time, we are called to step up and out to our neighbors who have their own “bumps," who are fearful, who are in need, who could use a loving act of kindness, who need to hear the message of a Savior who died and lives for them. God uses times like these to show the world His love and He does it through us.
There are windows of opportunity for us to serve, to give and to share. Sure, we’re in the middle of a “bumpy” and frightening world, but Jesus hears our cries and will cradle us in His arms -- a place of refuge, strength, and hope. Here are a few of my favorite “bumpy” passages that bring me peace in the midst of chaos and hope in the midst of worry.
“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.” Isaiah 41:10
“The Lord is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life -- of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” John 14:1
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Prayer: Father, in this “bumpy” time, may we put our trust in You and know that You are our refuge and strength in every time of need. Help us see the possibilities before us to help others. To You be the glory! Amen.
The Rev Rick Bader is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, LCMS, in Lena. Contact him by calling the church office at 815-369-4035 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.