Have you ever been on a cruise?  My husband and I went on a cruise about six years ago, but we decided to take our family on a cruise for our summer vacation.  We sailed on the Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.  It was a huge ship with just about everything you could imagine.  We had the opportunity to try foods we’ve never tried as well as see and do new things.  To have cell coverage or internet availability is outrageously expensive so you either have to sell a kidney or unplug for a week, which was the greatest part of the trip for me.  We all focused on one another and building memories.  Our children told us it ranks in the top two best vacations ever.
While it is a blessing to be unplugged from the world, there are mountains of emails, text messages, and phone calls to weed through when you get home.  As we were waiting for our luggage, I began the process but was stopped in my tracks very early on by an email I read.  A seventeen years old young man who attended high school with my children lost his battle against cancer the day before.  My daughter, Laura, and I got to know him two years ago at the Lighthouse Family Retreat, a beach retreat for families who are battling childhood cancer.  We had the opportunity to get to know him and his family as we served them.  A year later our paths crossed again as he played lacrosse with my son, Sam. His cancer had gone into remission and he was plugging into life doing all he could.  This past January the cancer returned and was in his bone marrow.  He battled for six months before coming home from the hospital last week.  In the midst of his struggle, he got an experience of a lifetime when he exited the hospital and saw his dream car, a yellow Lamborghini, waiting for him to drive him home.
It was a hard pill to swallow to know he was gone.  While we were laughing and enjoying a cruise, his family was losing their son and brother.  It just didn’t seem right they were going through so much suffering and the world continued to go on, like nothing was happening.  Unfortunately, that is how life tends to go.  There is One; however, who is always with us in our struggles and hardships [Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Psalm 73:23; Matthew 28:20b].  Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”  No matter how awful or fearful our experience is, we are not alone.  He isn’t just with us, He feels our pain and sorrow and He even cries with us over our losses [John 11:28-35]. 
Are you going through a difficult time?  Do you feel like the whole world is moving forward while you’re in the midst of your hardship or tragedy?  1 Peter 5:7 tells us to give all of our pain, sorrow, and suffering to Jesus, because He cares for us.  No matter what you are facing, the Good News is you are not facing it alone.  He’s with you!  Will you let Him carry you through?