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In Your Hands

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I pray, save my life!" Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:1-7(NRSV)

Michael Albanese lives in New York. When his wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of dementia, we were devastated. He watched helplessly as their 27 years of marriage slowly disappeared from her memory. Michael struggled to make sense of the deep sorrow, frustration, and anger he felt. He wanted to know why.

Michael laid his heart bare to God. He prayed honestly, openly, and sometimes angrily as he expressed his frustration and his desire for answers. He prayed through tears, pleading with God to heal his beloved wife and to remove his burden of being a full-time caregiver while working a full-time job.

One morning, when it felt like his prayers were going nowhere, Michael was able to slow down and quiet his mind enough to hear God's message. Michael needed to pray not for answers but for courage to trust in God. He began to pray for God's presence in his life and in his heart, and he has grown closer to God than he has ever been.

Michael knows God is working for good (see Rom. 8:28). Sometimes he can't see the good, but he knows God is faithful and will guide him through this. He doesn't have the answers, but he has been richly blessed by God's presence, which gives him the strength to cope with the tragedy of his wife's illness.

Prayer: Loving God, give us the courage to place all things into your hands, to submit our will to yours, with an abundant faith in your promises, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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