Posts Tagged ‘comfort’

   

 “I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness.” (Psalms‬ ‭102‬:‭6‬ NLT)

In the deserts of the southwestern US and Mexico, Gila Woodpeckers use saguaros—giant, tree-like cacti that may reach 43 ft in height and 10 ft in circumference—for food and shelter. In addition to insects, they eat cactus fruits and berries. Equipped with a thick bill, the Gila Woodpecker plays an important role in maintaining the health of saguaros by removing insects and trimming damaged tissue, which heals the cacti. It thrives where the rest of its woodland cousins cannot. 

In this psalm, the writer is speaking of a desolate and distressed time of life. The imagery of a desert is meant to symbolize pain and loss in this life. And yet, we know that in such a destitute place, there is a thriving life. Where one may call the prickly cactus a horrible and useless plant, someone else calls it Home Sweet Home! The difference is simply perception. 

Does your life seem desolate? Allow God to help shape what you are feeling. You see through the lenses of self’s desires and disappointments, but God sees so much more! Your cactus can become your castle! You are loved today! 

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The work is great and extensive…Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Nehemiah‬ ‭4‬:‭19-20‬ NKJV)

Sergeant E.N. Boots served in the Union Army with the 101st Regiment of Newberry, NC, during the Civil War. The son of loving Methodist pastors, he wrote them from camp one day in 1863, having seen a thing hard for him to comprehend, the fighting of War on The Lord’s Day:

“Pray for me Mother dear…Last Sabbath no one could leave…Instead of being a day of rest, it was a day of excitement and unrest [plus] the sound of the death dealing cannon mingled with the sound of the church bell.”

Nehemiah saw this too. He understood that while we do the work of God to enrich and save lives, war rages around in everyday areas, sometimes spiritual but also very literal. Our fight isn’t against people, politics, or societal progression, but to save lives from extreme darkness and evil, that which seeks to take root in us and lead us away from the Hope only found in Christ. 

As you go about your day, listen for the sound of cannons and church bells. The call to rally to God rings amidst the clamorings of life. Hear it for yourself, then offer others the Hope that you find! You are loved today! 

The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.” (Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭3‬ NLT)

On April 18, 1924, Francis Leavy, a Chicago firefighter, was washing a large window at the department when he apparently had a premonition: He would die that day. And he did. The next day, as fellow officers were dealing with his death, they noticed a handprint on the window that Leavy had washed, which wasn’t there before. When it was washed again, the handprint, possibly Leavy’s own, remained. Not even chemicals removed it. The handprint remained a mystery until 1944, when the window was broken by a newspaper boy’s wild throw. 

Everyday, God gives us “handprints of His presence” to show us that He’s there and involved with us. It might be a random song, a glimpse of nature, or a call from a friend, but each moment is associated with a feeling, even a brief one, that everything’s going to be okay. Consider it for what it is, your Heavenly Father reminding you that He’s there with you!

As I watched the snow gently fall yesterday, I felt it. When I talked to a friend on the phone yesterday, I felt it. And today, I’ll look again for another “handprint”, knowing that my God loves me and wants me to know it. May you see it too! You are loved!

mike@poyenassemblyofgod.org

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The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion.” (Luke‬ ‭7‬:‭12-13‬ NLT)

As I drove home last night from a basketball game, something crashed into my windshield, sending me into cardiac arrest! As I investigated the side of the road for the culprit, I found the last thing on my mind: a small screech owl. I took it home, wrapped it in a blanket, and let my wife hold it. As she did, he gradually fell asleep. But within an hour, he began having a labored breathing, looked around, and then quietly passed. It was a sad moment in the Sullivan home.

Death is a tragic event. Even Jesus was moved by it whenever he encountered those suffering from loss. When it occurs, there are always those left behind, asking hard questions and grappling with closure for the hole that has been ripped into the fabric of their life. However commonplace death may be, it still hurts.

Take time to be aware of those that have experienced a loss. Sometimes the greatest need for comfort isn’t at the funeral, but months later when all the phone calls and visits have stopped happening. Be moved with compassion whenever you see them hurting, letting them know they are loved.