Do you ever encounter a difficult situation and wish you could simply run away?  Or do you face it head on, trying not think about what is going on around you?  Sadly, there are moments in time when we cannot run away from rough weeks, trying days, and emotionally draining hours.  In these times of sadness and despair, we must not lose hope.  We must keep the faith.  No matter what, we need to keep on keeping on.

Yesterday, I attended the viewing for a dear friend and colleague, Corporal Gary Edwards.  Today, I attended his funeral.  For me personally, these are events that I would prefer to avoid.  The floral arrangements, the song selections, the eulogies…all are reminders of where my Dad and I were standing less than three years ago.  The photographs, the memories, the tears…all of them bring sadness instead of joy.  The casket, the hearse, the graveside…all of these remind me of how life is so very fragile.

As I walked toward the chapel yesterday evening, I encountered several friends and colleagues.  We shed a few tears, embraced, and shared words of encouragement.  While I was dealing with sorrow of my own, I felt in my heart that God was giving me the words to speak, even when I did not know what to say.  I told a couple of them what a blessing it was to have God’s strength in times like these.  Then, I told them that we just have to keep on keeping on.  They agreed, and one of them asked me to keep reminding them of this fact.  I told them I would.

In life, we are going to encounter some situations that seem impossible.  We will run into some valleys that seem too wide to cross, mountains that seem too high to climb, and rivers that seem too treacherous to brave.  Even when we face difficult circumstances, we need to keep the faith.  We do not have to do it on our own.  God will walk beside us, hold our hand, and even carry us.

Of course, when we are in the midst of the darkness, there are times when we are blinded to the point that we do not even realize that God is there with us.  I know I have had some moments this week when I felt like I had taken one step forward and was now taking two steps back.  I miss my Mom every single day of the year.  My heart remains broken.  Losing a colleague and friend this week breaks my heart a little more.  Just when a scab was beginning to heal over the brokenness I feel inside, something like this occurs and rips off the scab once more.  Still, I have hope.  I know God has not forsaken me.  He loves me more than I could ever imagine.  He has a dream for my life, and I will follow Him wherever He leads.

Even when we are down and out, God is working for our good.  Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”  Sometimes, it is hard to see the good that will come from the situation you find yourself in.  Even so, you must hold on a little longer.  Don’t run away and hide.  And don’t push your emotions aside and act as if nothing happened.  Trust that God will provide the strength you need to make it through this difficult time in your life.  There is joy around the bend.  Life may change, but God will never change.  Put your hope in Jesus Christ.  Keep the faith, and keep on keeping on.

In Christ’s Love,