There was this father who was trying to get a Sunday afternoon nap in his living room but his little boy kept bugging him saying, "Daddy, I'm bored." So the dad came up with a game for the little guy. He found a picture of a globe in the newspaper, a picture of the world and he ripped it into about 50 pieces and then told his son to put it back together. He knew that his son didn't know where all the countries were so he thought that would give him some time for his nap. But in about 15 minutes, the little guy woke him up and said, "I'm done. I put it all together." The dad was flabbergasted, he was shocked and he said, "You're kidding. How in the world did you finish it so soon?" And the little guy said, "Well, dad, there was this picture of a person on the back and when I got my person put together the world looked just fine." And that is also true of all of us.
Now let’s say a fictitious friend of mine comes to see me with some frustration and hurts in his life. Let’s say his name is Lionel. Let’s say I have met him at one of my Starbucks I like to go to and he comes up to my front porch and sits down and says, "Bill, I am messed up. I just am not able to put all the pieces together in life the right way and I want to. Can you help me?"
"Thanks for coming, Lionel. I can’t help you all by myself but I know where we can start."
So I pick up a Bible and I look up Isaiah 57:18 (TEV) in the Old Testament. This is a very important verse in dealing with this. Here God is speaking… "I have seen how they acted, but I will heal them. I will lead them and help them, and I will comfort those who mourn. I offer peace to all, near and far."
And from this I asked him five questions and then shared with him five promises that God gives here in this verse. Let me ask and share them with you…
…Are you hurt? GOD says, "I want to heal you."
…Are you confused? "I want to lead you."
…Do you feel helpless to change anything? "I want to help you change that."
…Do you believe that no one understands your problems? "I want to comfort you."
…And 5. Are you anxious, worried and afraid? "I want to offer peace to you."
Listen. I know that life is tough. All of us live in an imperfect world. Other people have hurt each one of us and we have also hurt other people. The Bible says that all have sinned. No one is perfect. We have all blown it. We hurt and we hurt others.
So that is where Lionel, and you and I are going to start. So why don’t we plan on meeting back here on the front porch for about five or so minutes tomorrow and go from there...