“There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.  There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more we’ll see Jesus face to face.  But until that day, I will hold on to you always.”

These are the words I heard coming from my song app on my phone as I was getting ready for church one Sunday morning and these words brought tears to my eyes.  I remembered a little over a year ago when my mom sent me a message about some issues in my family and how after reading the message I just sat down and cried as this song played.  And again that very morning as I was getting ready for church there I was crying over the words in this song.

You see it’s been a hard few months here.  Ok who am I kidding the MAJORITY of months here are hard.  I mean how can it not be hard when you see people you love so very much struggling every day.  Whether that struggle is physical, emotional, financial, or the worst of them all, spiritual it makes no difference.  It’s still heartbreaking to see all of the need that surrounds us every day and that gets hard.  I’m grateful to be here and do what God has called us to do to help change some of these heartbreaking circumstances but for every need that God meets through us there are hundreds of others still waiting to be met.  And these last few months have been even harder than usual.  Let me give you just a glimpse of what I mean.

In the last month alone we have seen so many things happen in the lives of those we love.  Like the young single mother who has had so much swelling in her feet from lupus treatments that she can’t go to work to provide for her family and is struggling against depression.   The teenage girl who made a bad choice with her boyfriend and thought she was pregnant.  The message I received from one of my close friends here in Guatemala who recently moved back to her hometown but is struggling with depression and distance from God.  My other close friend here who is struggling with issues in her marriage, providing for her family because she and her husband are both out of work, and health issues that are affecting her and her parents.  Another close friend in the states who just lost the father of one of her closest friends and is struggling so much with issues with her child.  The e-mail from my mom about the continued struggles my family faces and the heartache of not being able to be there and be close during these difficult times.  The death of one of our regular attenders of Celebrate Recovery because of disease that wrecked her body from alcoholism and the fact that this is now the 4th person in our community who has been lost to alcohol related death this year.  All of this on top of the everyday struggles that we face daily with the people we serve such as not enough food, no money for healthcare, illness due to lack of access to clean water and medicine, limited access to education, and a deep, deep need for Jesus and his grace, love, and mercy.

But one thing I didn’t tell you earlier is that unlike the tears of sadness I cried at this song after the message from my mom a little over a year ago, the tears I cried this particular morning were not tears of sorrow.  Despite all of these heart wrenching circumstances I was crying tears of joy.  Why?  Because I know, without a doubt, that one day there will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.  There will be a day when there are no more single mothers struggling, no more illness, no more hunger, no more struggles of this world because we WILL see Jesus face to face. We just need to remember that until that day we must hold on to the hope we have in Him ALWAYS.  No matter what the circumstances around us look like we must remember that He is there and He is working things out according to His perfect plan.  We might not understand it, we might not see it, but we must believe it because that is where our hope lies.  And if there are those around us who do not know Him as their Lord and Savior we must use every chance He gives us to share Him with others.

I write this blog today to encourage you that if you are struggling with something give it to Jesus.  Give your whole heart, your whole life, and all of your circumstances to Him because He’s the one who can lift that burden and carry you through.  Take a few minutes and really listen to the words of this song.  And if you haven’t already or if you’ve stopped…start holding on to Jesus always!

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:4

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