Little Elijah, aged 3, left his apartment building at 4 am, clad in a t-shirt, his pull-up, and a pair of boots, and headed out into the frigid night, this night of temperatures below -20. His clothing was no match for the frigid temps outside. When we heard about his disappearance, and the frantic search, we stopped and prayed. We prayed, knowing that he was in the palm of God’s hand, no matter where he was. An hour later, we heard that he was found without vital signs. Again, we prayed, knowing that God is the God of the impossible, the God who parted seas, and stilled storms and raised people from the dead. All day long little Elijah’s name was on my lips and in my heart, and I quietly lifted him up to the God as I went about my daily business.
My heart shattered when I read the news that he had died. I had so much hope that with medical technology, and with God, the same one who raised Lazarus, that somehow, just somehow…. life would be breathed into that little, cold body.
But now all I can do is just pray for his family, for their heartbreak, for their pain, their grief and the agony they must feel at his loss. For what else can I do? I know that Elijah was not alone when he died. I’m sure that he was always in the palm of God’s hand.
And now we place the heartbroken family there – in your hand, Father. In Your hand is always the best place to be when facing heartache, or pain or brokenness, or fear.
I lift up those who are afraid right now. And I place them safely in the palm of Your hand.
I lift up those who are overwhelmed. And I place them securely in the palm of Your hand.
I lift up those who are paralyzed by grief. I place them tenderly in the palm of Your hand.
For your hands are the hands of Love.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Ps.94:18-19)
Save us, O God, for the waters have come up to our necks. We are sinking in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. We have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf us. We are worn out calling for help; our throats are parched. Our eyes fail, looking for you…. But we pray to you, Oh Lord, in the time of your favour; in your great love, O Lord, answer us with your sure salvation! Rescue us from the mire, do not let us sink; deliver us from the deep waters… We are in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect us. (excerpts and paraphrasing from Ps.69)
Jesus, thank you that you never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you that whatever situation we find ourselves in, that You are faithful to keep us close. Thank you for your great Love that conquers so much for us. We especially lift up today the family of Elijah. May you surround them with your Presence in their pain and sorrow. Be their comfort and their strength.