It has been a devastating time these past few weeks and months: destructive hurricanes, demolishing earthquakes, violent storms, decimating fires, deadly shootings, horrific accidents, and in our city of Cypress, California, one of our police officers was tragically killed in an off duty car accident, leaving behind a wife and two young children. The news and online media outlets continue to bring us up close and personal to scene after scene of the devastation and heart wrenching stories of people, real people, like you and me suffering. It grabs ahold of us, even more so if we know someone personally touched by the tragedy, and takes us to a place where fear is crouching at the door and we wonder about the state of our world. One person on my Facebook feed asked the question, “With all that has happened, does anyone else think apocalypse?!?” Now most don’t think it’s the end of the world, but the dark cloud of hopelessness does loom.
So what do we do? How do we find hope? I love the quote from the late, but beloved Fred Rogers, who said…
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news or in movies and my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ For when we look to the helpers, we will find hope.” – Fred Rogers
What a great truth, for there are always going to be helpers. Mr. Rogers went on to encourage news reporting to include such stories to help children, and really all of us, to find hope in times of calamity (go here to see Mr. Roger’s quote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LGHtc_D328 ). To the credit of our news media, there has been a lot of reporting on prayer vigils, blood donations, people providing meals for firefighters, people helping neighbors evacuate, concerned friends housing animals displaced by the fires, neighbors helping to save another neighbor’s home, people giving to disaster relief organizations, and churches and business taking up collections to help in some way. There are a lot of helpers!
Helping brings hope, for it shows that the devastation is not all there is. Much of the difficulty of life we cannot stop or avoid. Even Jesus said…
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
In this world of tribulations we don’t just have to watch for the helpers, we can be a helper. Our instant, right now reality of social media puts us in at the epicenter of much of our world’s catastrophes, and we can help. We can all pray!
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,
James 5:16b …The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Prayer works. Now sure, we don’t always get the answers we want, but there is a peace and hope that can settle in our hearts as we pray and trust God.
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So, yes, let’s pray, but if we are able, let’s give through our churches, or the Red Cross, or through reputable organizations. We can also donate our time, or clothes, or even blood. We can also find a way to encourage first responders who risk their lives for us. Let’s be some of those helpers and bring hope. What could you do today to be a helper?
Church can be one of those places that aid us in being a helper. If you don’t already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net. Let’s find a way to be a help in our world and bring hope.
Seeking to be a helper along with you,