By Pastor Tom Murr
Woodburn Methodist Church
Paul wrote in Acts14: 22 “strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
Many, many, people in Oklahoma have suffered through “tribulations.” The pictures on the media have shown the destruction of property. But the pictures cannot show us the pain, loss, frustration, sadness, sudden spurts of joy and all the possible feelings that people could experience this week.
Memorial Day reminds of great “tribulations” that many people have experienced — those on the battlefield and those left at home. We will never know all of the “tribulations” our men and women experienced in the battles. We know many families experienced great loss with the news of their son or daughter killed on the battlefield.
Through life we measure the number of years that we are old. I suspect we should number the “tribulations” we have experienced to determine our age. On Memorial Day, we can remember the grief and pain we felt with the loss of loved ones close and dear to each of us. Through many “tribulations” we are drawn closer to God.
In Dan Ivins book “Don’t Lose Heart,” Ivins tells a wonderful story he entitled “Touch My Father’s Hand.”
When I was a kid in our little two-bedroom home, my room was next to Mamma and Daddy’s bedroom. But in those days, it felt so far away when noises occurred in the night. I’d wake up and hear a squeaky floor and think “burglar.” I would feel the windows rattle and think “tornado.”
And you know what I’d do? I’d get up in the dark and run to the other bedroom where Mom and Dad were sound asleep. I could tell where Dad slept because he was always snoring. I’d reach up and touch my Daddy’s hand and everything was all right. I didn’t have to say anything or even wake him up.
That touch — the assurance Daddy was there was enough to allow me to go back to my room and go to sleep. In “tribulations” we reach out to touch the hand of God and be reassured of his presence with us.
Let us in remembering our loves ones as we reach out to touch the hand of God in our prayers and mediations and experience. May His reassurance bring us peace, hope and joy through all the “tribulations” of life.