old to hope at Geneva family churchMany years ago, when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister of Canada, he gave a speech in which he shared with the nation that because of budget shortfalls, the government was going to reduce financial assistance programs. “If there is any relief,” he said, “it will be narrowly directed to those in dire straits.” On hearing Trudeau’s speech, the residents of New Dundee, Ontario, assembled and promptly changed the name of their town to Dire Straits. The town’s mayor explained, “If we are not in Dire Straits, I don’t know who is!”

Many of us experience times in our lives when we feel just like that – like we are in dire straits.

There is no doubt that life is challenging. We experience much loss and change and even heartache. Though it is tough to remember in the midst of hardship, difficult times come – but they also go.

Friend of Geneva, when you find yourself in crisis mode may you remember that there will be daylight on the other side. You don’t need to set up camp in the darkness. You don’t need to change your name to “Dire Straits!” Instead hold onto hope. There is the potential to come out on the other side stronger, more loving, more faithful, more compassionate. While you won’t emerge unchanged, you will get through it. God is with you.

Let us pray: Loving God, we claim the promise of the prophet Isaiah – that you will make a way in the wilderness. I pray especially today for those who are in the midst of difficult times – for those who feel as though they are hanging on by the last thread of hope. Give them eyes to see beyond the darkness. Grant them an overwhelming sense of your presence and peace, and carry them through. Amen.