Author: Jonathan Redding (Tennessee, US)
My nephew is now healthy and energetic, but that was not always the case. When he was born, the hospital staff quickly took him to the neo-natal intensive care unit to resolve some complications that the doctor assured my brother and sister-in-law were minor. That assurance did not stop our family from experiencing anxiety and doubt. I felt helpless and worried that my minutes’-old nephew had reached his ‘determined days’ before they had even begun.
I asked my mother, an experienced nurse, and Dad—a pastor—if we could do anything to help. I also asked God how something like this could happen. Mum said, ‘I cannot do much, but I am praying simply that God will be with him and with the doctors.’ Dad responded, with tears in his eyes, ‘Sometimes praying is all we can do.’ I felt powerless and empty, but in that moment, I did not feel alone.
I think my initial loneliness that day was similar to the overwhelming fear and isolation Christians experience on Holy Saturday. The coming resurrection offers hope, but future hope often does not change present grief. God was present in the days between Jesus’ death and resurrection, just as he continues to be with all of us during difficult days. Though the words of Job 14 haunt me, I can take refuge in the God who is always there.Prayer: Dear God, you are with us always. Help us live in a way that reflects your eternal presence. Amen