Chaplain’s thoughts … Hope in hard times

There’s no doubt 2020 was a very difficult year for many around our world.  Whether we realize it or not, our senses have been overwhelmed by so much: a global pandemic, quarantines, face-masks, nation-wide protests, unrest, and injustice. I know I’m not the only one to welcome 2021 with open arms! Going through so many challenges, we can sometimes be tempted to lose hope, and start to wonder if there’s any light to be found in our world. When I go through difficult times, I find hope in some awesome and uplifting words shared long ago by a fellow traveler in this life. They also encountered hardships and dark times — yet look where this person draws their hope from. They write, “God is our refuge and strength, always there with us in our troubles. So we don’t need to fear, even if the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the depth of the seas … God will be there” (Psalm 46:1-2). Now, before you just gloss over those words, instead, repeat them again. Pause on them for second, and meditate on them. The writer says God is our refuge and strength. A refuge is a place we can turn to when we need protection, safety and comfort — a shelter from the storms and darkness of life. And, notice, we’re not alone in this refuge. Instead, the writer reminds us that God is with us in the midst of whatever difficult times we may be facing. We’re not expected to go through life alone, or by our own strength. Rather, God has made us to be relational beings — to be in community with one another, and to go through life together. God is beside us in the journey — right next to us providing strength when we feel like our strength is gone. This image of God providing us strength, reminds me of a treasured poem that has uplifted many over the years, “Footprints” (author unknown):

One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, you’d be with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.” God whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you! When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

For more information about Luke AFB Chaplain Corps programs and events, like us on Facebook at Luke AFB Chapel. Feeling like you need to talk? Give us a call at 623-856-6211.

More Stories

Monsoon Awareness 2022
By 56th Operations Support Squadron
Luke’s 56th EMS unveils newest...
By Senior Airman Caleb F. Butler
Luke AFB celebrates Juneteenth
By Aerotech News & Review
Chaplain’s thoughts … The most...
By Chaplain (Capt.) Jeff Rybold