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Posted: July 19, 2012 10:18 p.m.

McCoy: Cry out to Jesus

I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, I ask that you'll have the power to grasp love's width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. I ask that you'll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.
Ephesians 3:17-21 (Common English Bible)

What is your hard-time hymn? That hymn that you sing in times of trouble when words won't come? For some, it's an old hymn like "Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound." For some, it might be a newer song that you might hear on the radio. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a song that said, "Cry Out to Jesus." Whatever your hard-time hymn, you find yourself singing it in the midst of trouble, when things are not going right, when life is not treating you well.

A couple of weeks ago, this column was about "A Song for the Journey." When I wrote that column, little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey, a journey where I would need God's strength and my "hard-time hymn." On Sunday, July 8, two of our sons and their best friend were involved in an automobile accident in Wisconsin. I dropped everything, flew up to be with them and help them sort it all out. One son had sustained mild injuries, one son had moderate injuries, but the friend, a young man very dear to our hearts, did not survive the accident. On the plane, I had no words. For once, I didn't want to start conversations with the one seated beside me. As a pastor, I am supposed to have words for every incident, or so I thought, but this time, nothing came except the prayer deep in the recesses of my mind - the prayer from a service of Holy Communion: "Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy." God is faithful and gracious, and sent people our way to help us through that difficult week, both in Wisconsin and here in Georgia. People were standing in the gap for us and praying for us during a time when we had no words. To say thanks to the countless unseen saints of God who prayed and wept and prayed and helped us through that week would be impossible. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Zachary Booher, the friend who did not survive, as again, there are no words.

From time to time, I will go to worship with people in long-term care facilities, and I have been amazed. People who cannot seem to remember anything about their day, their surroundings, even their names or families, will begin singing when we sing songs like "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know." Faith goes deeper than our understanding, deeper than our memories, deeper than our day-to-day experiences. For those times when life presents us with challenges that leave us speechless, for those times when we just can't seem to find words, we can trust God who knows our hearts and hears the deepest groans of our beings. Because as Christians, Christ lives in our hearts, and the roots of our faith go deeper than mental capabilities or understanding. Our faith in Christ becomes part of who we are so that in our greatest need when words are not present, God can still speak to us in unspeakable and unseen ways to bring peace and comfort.

Sometimes life just doesn't make sense, but God knows all of our pain and all of our troubles. Where can God speak to your deepest need? Cry out to Jesus, who sees all of our needs and knows all of our pain and can bring peace in the midst of the storms of life.
See obits on Page 8.

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at

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