“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians1:3).
How do you live in the midst of chaos, uncertainty, and loss? How will our brothers and sisters in Ukraine find comfort in their distress? How will we?
God often uses our testimonies to encourage others. Here is my 93-year-old mother’s story which seems especially relevant:
My life changed forever when the Russian hordes invaded eastern Germany at the end of World War II. I was only a 16-year-old then. Streams of refugees and soldiers passed through our village. We were constantly busy helping those in need.
Along the road lay dead cows, and sometimes refugees arrived with loved ones to bury. Mothers fled with their children in baby carriages. I kept thinking, “I hope I don’t have to go.” For two years we lived under Russian/Polish occupation, and then the order came that all Germans must be “evacuated.”
I climbed the hill behind my house and watched people leave with box carts and backpacks, women holding children by the hand, old men, my best friend . . . . Every so often they’d stand still and sadly look back. Tears streamed down my cheeks. Everyone I knew and loved was going away. Would I ever see them again?
When it was my turn, I boarded the cattle train wearing three dresses and a coat, carrying my bedding and a few mementos. It would be forty years before I could return for a visit.
I had lost everything—my country, my community, my family, and my possessions—but I still had God. You see, everything can be taken from you, but if you have the Lord, you have peace and a secure refuge. I have many stories of how he protected and guided me during the war and afterwards. Truly, I have lived in the shadow of his wings.
Prayer of Response:
Lord, thank you for your compassionate, comforting presence even in the most impossible circumstances. Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
- How have you experienced loss or tragedy in your life?
- How did you experience God’s compassion?
- How did you experience God’s comfort?
—Submitted by Ruth Wood
Ruth is a US/Swiss citizen and lives with her husband in Oregon. They have two grown sons, two beloved daughters-in-law and one very spoiled grandcat. She works as a Licensed Professional Counselor and loves blogging at EspressoForTheHeart.org.