In God’s Hands

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When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. —Psalm 94:19, NIV

The morning started as usual: my children went to school, and I took the train from Ostia, Italy, where I lived, to Rome. I had to change trains twice before arriving at my office at the Italian Adventist Union where I work. So I got off at the Magliana station to wait for the next train. The Magliana station and the next four stops are above ground; only afterward does the subway descend under the Italian capital. I was immersed in my thoughts when suddenly I heard a thud and saw a sparrow fall to the ground next to my feet.

It was a young bird, perhaps on its first flight.

He was flying with his parents when he got hit by the incoming train from the opposite direction. For a moment, I was stunned.

Then I bent down and gently picked him up.

He was panting heavily, and his head lolled about in my hands.

“He’s got his neck broken. He won’t live until tonight,” said a young man behind me. Sadly, I softly stroked the bird’s chest; his warm, feathery body lay still in my cupped hand.

I wanted to make him feel that someone cared for him.

Maybe the warmth of my hand helped the little bird.

Slowly, the sparrow began to breathe more calmly, and even his heart was no longer beating so madly. He raised his head and began to move it.

His neck was not broken! His little eyes, half-closed at first, had become lively again. He was better. I took the bird to a subway attendant to put it back in his nest.

As I traveled to my office, I reflected. In life, we have painful experiences from time to time. Things happen: sorrow, an illness, a loss, the choices of our children—add your own experience to the list. When they come, they are like a punch in the stomach, disrupting our peaceful existence while we fly about before falling to the ground, stunned.

But we are not alone. God is right next to us.

He takes us in His hands so we can feel His love.

He caresses us lovingly.

And, thanks to the warmth of His hands, we can recover.

Thanks to the consolation of His Word, we find the answers to our questions. Thanks to the power of prayer, we can start over again. We are never left to face life alone. The Lord is always with us! He accompanies us on life’s path, and in His embrace, we find healing and salvation.

Lina Ferrara

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