Published 5:35 pm Monday, May 18, 2020

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I teach Chinese students very early in the morning. I really enjoy my job because I can do it online from the comfort of my home.

The students can steal your heart.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

I have several favorite students. I really like connecting with the students and learning about their lives. It’s actually fun to go to work, except for the early hour.

The other morning I was teaching a student when I heard a huge crash outside of my window. It was so loud that I stopped teaching and tried to look outside and see what happened. I couldn’t see anything, but knew that something was up.

When I finished teaching, my wife asked me if I heard the loud noise. Then she told me that I better go look in the woods, a big tree had fallen and she wondered if anything might have hit the house. Thankfully the house was fine, but there was a huge mess to clean up.

Last fall we had a big wind storm that snapped an old, dead pine tree. The tree got caught up in other trees and did not fall. It was actually very scary. I figured I would have to hire a tree guy to come in and take the tree down at quite a big price. Without the slightest breeze, the big tree came crashing down, taking several other trees with it on the way to the ground.

I spent the biggest part of a day working on the mess. I am not even halfway through the cleanup. I will probably have to cut a couple more trees down that are being bent over by the large pine tree. I haven’t worked that hard in a long time and my body complained about the work for several days. I haven’t even begun to think about how I will take care of the large tree trunks. I guess nature will have to take care of that.

I have been thinking about what we are going through and imagining it must feel like that big tree falling. There has been a crash in our lives, now what do we do? I have a dear friend whose home was hit by a hurricane. It took 18 months to get back home. I know that some of my readers have been hit financially. Your dreams of a rosy future have come crashing down.

Other readers have lost their jobs or been put on furlough. You have a double hit. You are struggling to figure out if your job is still there or where will you work in the future. Then you also have all the financial worries of how are you going to make ends meet.

What started in January as a year filled with dreams has turned into a nightmare, with your world crashing down.

Still other readers have faced the impossible, the loss of loved ones. In spite of how healthy and careful you thought you were, you or some loved ones came down with COVID-19.

All the prayers you prayed and promises you made God have come crashing down. Your world has changed forever.

Where is God? Why didn’t He come and rescue you? God is with you, even when you can’t feel His presence. His heart is broken over what you are going through. His people are here to comfort you. His angels have been dispatched to surround you. He is walking with you through your circumstances. You are not alone.

The Bible is full of people who had to go through trials, wars, famines and even unknown diseases like COVID-19. Just like today, some went home to be with the Lord, while others fought through to the other side.

God hears our prayers, just as He did in biblical days. God will send answers and comfort and strength just as He did in biblical days.

We don’t understand our suffering, but we can trust that He will see us through just as He did in the Bible.

I know things are not easy right now, but let me encourage you that God is with you. Don’t run from God, run to Him. He is the source of your peace, comfort and strength. He may not give you the answers you seek, but the wisdom you need to make it through.

I believe we have more to go through, but we know the one who can get us through. He has not given up on you. He has heard your prayers. He will help you.

Never give up. His love for you is greater than you can ever imagine.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or