Jeremiah 31:13 I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
Jeremiah was giving a word to the Israelites who had been conquered and sent to exile in Babylon. They had lost everything and wondered if perhaps the Lord had forgotten them. In this verse God assures them that he has not forgotten them. True, their circumstances appeared grim at the time, but better days were ahead.
This morning I could not help but think of the people of the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast areas battered by Harvey. The waters are receding now, at least in some areas. People who managed to flee the direct wrath of the storm are returning home to find terrible destruction of property, if not life and limb. News reports are telling us the rebuilding and recovery efforts in the region will take many years, not weeks or months.
So this morning I’m asking myself what I need to be doing to support those who’ve lost so much. In fact, that will be the title of my sermon on Sunday “What can we do to help?”. Right now, we should pray.
Heavenly Father there are so many people hurting along the gulf coast today. This is a time for the church to embody the gospel for others in response to great need. Give us grace to step up and love people whose lives have been turned upside-down by loss. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.