Have you ever heard a phrase or song lyric and it just hits a chord within you, even if you have heard it a thousand times before? It’s heavenly, the moment that you hear the voice of the Lord speaking to you through the words of another person. Recently I had this experience as I was listening to my favorite hymn, ‘Abide With Me’. I have loved the hymn since I was a little girl and as I listened this time to one of my favorite renditions (you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84YASWe3_2Q) the Lord helped me understand it in a new way.
I have heard it said that when people come to rescue missions, or any other homeless shelter, their biggest problem is not that they have run out of resources (money, shelter, clothing), though this is a big setback. The thing that makes it necessary for them to seek help is that they have run out of relationships, whether through loss of life, by being alienated by their own choices, or by situations completely out of their control. The end of the very first verse of ‘Abide With Me’ is a perfect representation of this: “When other helpers fail / and comforts flee / help of the helpless / abide with me.” Men and women who come to the Mission can feel as if they are alone in the world with nowhere to turn.
As men and women go through our Residential programming at the Mission, rebuilding old relationships and building healthy new ones is a large part of their recovery process. Building lasting, Godly relationships can make all the difference when hardship comes in life and we need a foundation to fall back on. It is our honor to meet people where they are and introduce them to Jesus and begin to work on building healthy relationships and a sustainable lifestyle. Often just knowing that Jesus has always been with them, even in their darkest hours, helps them to understand what a truly Christ-centered relationship with others can be like. The ends of the next few verses of ‘Abide With Me’ come together to create a picture of our relationship with Christ:
“O Thou who changest not / abide with me”
“I triumph still if thou / abide with me”
“In life, in death, O Lord / abide with me”
Unchanging, victorious in life and death – how great is our God! As each of us grow stronger in our relationship with Jesus, please pray that men and women at Haven of Rest who are being introduced to Him for the first time will find in Him the perfect example of what a relationship should be. Pray also for the men and women who are working and volunteering their time to share the Gospel each day that they would continue to make lasting, Godly relationships with all who come to us for help.