I am staying for a few days with friends in São Paulo, a teeming megacity in Brazil. While I have been here I have heard of people facing real difficulties. Peter, who is in his early sixties, was visiting Christians in a remote town in Amazonas when he fell and broke his leg. In great pain he was taken on the back of a truck and then in a small motorised canoe to a small hospital in a nearby town. They were unable to perform the operation he urgently needed so he was flown 500 miles to Manaus, the capital of Amazonas. After a number of delays he had the operation and special arrangements are being made for him to return to the UK.
At church on Sunday morning we were told about the minister’s 10 year old granddaughter who is seriously ill in the United States with an inoperable brain tumour. Soon after she was born she had surgery to remove a large brain tumour and made a remarkable recovery. Now, 10 years later, the tumour has returned. Emmeline is very unwell and has talked with her mother about the fact that this time she may not recover. They have talked together about Emmeline trusting Jesus and going to heaven.
Our response in both situations has been to pray. We prayed for Peter’s operation, for a good recovery and then the difficult journey home to be reunited with his family. We are praying for Emmeline and her family and asking God once again to graciously heal or, if not, to be with her as her short life draws to an end and she goes to be with Jesus.
It is a wonderful thing to be able to bring all our needs, and the needs of others, to our heavenly Father. We all face situations which are too big for us, but they are never too big for him. Even in a city like São Paulo, with its 18 million people, it is amazing to think that God knows each one from the children on the streets to the millionaires in their mansions. Whoever we are we can cry out to God and he will hear and help us. He will give us strength to face each situation and promises that we can trust him when we walk through the darkest valley. Even in that valley there is no reason to be afraid because he has promised to be with us.