Friday, March 13, 2020

No, Never Alone week 11

Photo Credit: D. Kelly @ Grant Co., WV

In Loving Memory of

 Holly Michelle Evans (1/2/1976 – 7/23/1995)

&

Frederick Elwood Evans, Sr. (8/9/1950 –  2/14/2018)

REFLECTION

“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  (Genesis 28:15). 

Question of the day: Why do Christians feel lonely?

A DEEPER LOOK

Read

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday



This week’s verses remind us that we are the temple of God. That His Holy Spirit dwells within us. That is why we can do all things through Christ – it’s His strength not ours that we are to rely upon.


IMAGINE THIS

On the other side of the window fluttered a solitary bird.  I watched as it pecked and scratched, searching for food beneath the snow. Its willingness to go below the surface was inspiring. I wondered how long it would keep it up before it gave up and went away hungry. But this little bird, it never backed down. I watched in fascination as it shook itself off, flew away for a few seconds. Only to return to work a little more. Eventually, its innate tenacity and stubborn determination paid off. Instinctively, it worked to find the nuggets it needed for the day. It found just enough nourishment for this day.

Unbeknown to this little bird, it wasn’t really alone. On the other side of the window, I waited patiently, watching it’s endeavor and cheering it on. Then, when it found its reward and flew away, I grinned for its victory. That little bird left just as it came in: cautious but determined; willing to stick it out; willing to go a little deeper.

+ + +
As a young woman, I was sent to hold my sister-in-law. Her daughter was in the next room with most of our family at her side. We were just…waiting…praying…crying.  I remember holding her head in my lap thinking over and over again three simple words: Oh Dear God.  I found myself in that position because my big brother said I was strong. He was wrong. I wasn’t. Yet when he sent me to his beloved wife, I kept thinking I didn’t want to be strong. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want my niece fighting for her next breath.

Looking back, I now see that in those moments, it was God holding my sister-in-law…not me; I was just a clueless woman who was going home to her own daughters.  I tried to hold back my tears when I realized that this would not be the case for her.  I didn’t have a clue what to say…so I said nothing.  I just held her wishing to absorb some of her pain…then as Holly let go of this life, even though we knew she was in heaven with the Jesus she loved so dearly, our lives were never the same. She was with Jesus. The same Jesus she prayed to when she was in pain. The same Jesus who gave her a big smile in spite of her life-long illness. The same Jesus who was waiting for her when the rest of us were left standing there wondering how to help her family.  And most would agree that we never felt so alone.

+ + +
Even strong Christian woman experience times when we feel utterly alone. Like its us against the world. Yet as Christians, we know that we are never alone. That God has set provisions in place for us.  Even when we don’t feel God, if we keep trusting, if we dig just a little deeper, we will find Him. And He will walk with us through the tough times. I think of my niece often. And wonder how her parents did it. How did they keep serving? Keep trusting? It's one thing to think we could do that…but another to actually hold steadfast to that level of faith. Even in the midst of horrible heartbreak, somehow my brother and sister-in-law held on to the God of their lives.  When their faith was tested, they found that the Holy Spirit was, indeed, their Comforter.

Isaiah 11:2 says that the Holy Spirit will rest upon us. That He will give us understanding, wisdom, counsel.

MY THOUGHTS


Journal Your Thoughts Here:
As we enter into the final week of learning what it means to be empowered by The Holy Spirit, let’s consider ways in which we can take time out of our week to commune with God on a deeper level. Not a superficial, scratch-the-surface knowledge, but on a level where we seek and welcome Him into the deepest recesses of our heart…especially into a broken heart.

Ask:

How can I sense God in the midst of heartache?

In what ways can I trust Him to be there for me when my strength is gone?



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