Do Good

Trust in the LORD and do good;

—from Psalm 37:3

 

It seems to always be this way.

When there is a natural disaster of some kind–hurricane, tornado, earthquake, snowstorm–people start taking care of each other’s needs.

Often strangers begin taking care of one another.

There seems to be a sense of belonging and responsibility that comes upon a community, bringing out a shared concern.

Empathy.

A willingness to give.

A generous spirit.

Today (which is the day after Hurricane Irma) I have heard of more than one family cooking food and making an open invitation to others to come.

Groups of people with chainsaws and tools have been going around assisting with the removal of toppled trees and other debris after the storm.

Someone made a large amount of coffee and started bringing it to different neighborhoods.

Wheelbarrows with limbs and sticks were carted to the road.

People are offering to help in lots of ways and this will continue for quite some time.

In Psalm 37:3 we are told to trust in the LORD and to do good.

In times like these, that is exactly what we need to do:

  1. Trust in the LORD.
  2. Do good.

 

 

do good

Look to the Lord

Look to the Lord and His strength;
    seek His face always.

—1 Chronicles 16:11

 

 

What should we do when we pray and then we don’t understand what happens next?

What if situations in our lives seem confusing, even though we have prayed about them?

God’s thoughts are not ours and His timing is not our timing.

His understanding of every human heart is beyond our comprehension.

No matter what happens to us, we are to look to God and His strength.

We need to always be seeking Him.

He knows what is best.

 

 

 

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I Will Help You

There’s a popular song out now that I hear on the radio a lot.

It’s “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns.

Here are part of the lyrics:

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

 

I was recently privileged to hold a three month old goat.

It was cold outside and the little thing simply allowed me to hold him in my arms and rock him side to side for about twenty minutes.

I think he just about went to sleep, even though there were a lot of people walking around us.

He was trusting.

He was calm.

He was relaxed.

He wasn’t struggling to get away.

In fact, he seemed content and happy—just being held.

Can you just picture yourself as a little child, resting in Jesus’s arms?

Just allowing Him to rock you side to side as you drift to sleep, even though there are a lot of things happening all around you?

Can you picture yourself there?

Being trusting?

Being calm?

Being relaxed?

Not struggling to get away?

Content and happy–-just being held?

So, when we are on our knees in prayer, or in our car in prayer or at work in prayer, and answers seem so far away, can we trust that we are not alone?

Can we trust that Jesus is at work and that things in our lives are falling into place?

Can we understand that God is on His throne and He is in control–not us?

Can we stop struggling and just be held?

 

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For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

—Isaiah 41:13

 

help-you

Wherever You Go

The fire department. 

They’re always there. 

Always available to help.

If you call an emergency number, a fire truck with trained, professional people will be at your side in a matter of minutes to take care of you. 

Right?

Well, probably 99 percent of the time. 

What about that other 1 percent?

It’s not because they don’t want to come to your rescue. It’s because they can’t.

Maybe there’s a blizzard going on with high snow drifts and impassable roads. 

Maybe there’s a hurricane or tornado happening. 

Maybe all the fire trucks available are already helping others in need at a different location. 

While we can take comfort in the fact that 99 percent of the time someone at the fire department will respond to our call of distress, we know down deep in our hearts that there’s always the possibility that they might not be able to. 

It’s different with God. 

He is there for us 100 percent of the time. 

He hears our prayers immediately. 

He doesn’t have to travel to get to you or me. 

Though it’s hard to comprehend, He is right with us all the time. 

There are no flashing lights or sirens. 

Just the presence of God with power to heal, transform and comfort. 

Blizzards and snow drifts can’t keep Him away. 

Hurricanes?  

Tornados?

No problem. 

He commands the wind and the rain. 

And what if He’s already helping a million other people who are crying out to Him?

For God, it’s not an issue. He still has time just for you.

God—

He’s always there. 

Always available to help. 

Hope in His Faithful Love

 

The LORD values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love.

—Psalm 147:11

The only hope that I have is in God.

He is the only hope that I need.

His love for me is continuously faithful.

All my concerns are before Him.

He knows each one.

 

 

 

faithful-love

 

For You Are With Me

This morning, my mind was filled with great thoughts of concern over a loved one.

As I drove to work, I prayed about the matter, almost constantly.

I usually have music on while I drive, and today was no different.

My music began by starting at the beginning of my collection with songs that start with the letter “A.”

A song titled, “And That My Soul Knows Very Well” came on.

The sun was just about to come up, as it was very early.

My heart was heavy with concern as I prayed.

Suddenly, the blazing light of the rising sun came through a break in the trees behind me and reflected into my rear view mirror.

It only lasted a second or so.

My face was flooded with bright light from the reflection.

At just that moment the singers’ voices were saying, “You make Your face to shine on me, now my soul knows very well….”

I could not escape knowing what had just happened.

The light of the sun bathed my face at the same time the words reached my ears–

A message from God that He was with me.

When I arrived at work, the parking lot was crowded. I parked in a different place than I normally do.

As I was getting ready to get out of the car, the sun was coming up over the building in front of me, once again bathing me in dazzling light.

I decided to take a photo of the sunlight with my cell phone.

God knows what my heart is longing for and the concerns that I have.

He is with me, and He is with you, too….

 

Yea, 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.

–Psalm 23:4

 

 

 

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Hushed

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

—Psalm 107:29

 

Storms can be big.

Things get torn up.

Ruined.

Blown away.

Flooded.

Waves can be giant.

Overwhelming.

Relentless.

God can make a storm be still.

He can hush any wave.

What storms are you facing today?

God is bigger than the storm.

 

sea were

Distress

You know them, just like I do.

Right now–this very day–you could probably name a family member who is struggling in some way.

You’ve likely heard of a devastating car accident in your area, or a house fire.

People that have always seemed healthy now have cancer; some are young.

Some are older.

Maybe just this year you’ve had good friends get a divorce.

Others may be grieving tremendously because someone they loved very much has died.

You know them, just like I do.

As Christians, what are we to say to comfort others who are facing strong difficulties?

I often listen to the radio on my drive to work.

There is a song that has found its way into my heart for quite some time now.

It is titled, “Just Say Jesus” by the group 7eventh Time Down.

Here is a portion of the lyrics:

Life gets tough, and times get hard
It’s hard to find the truth in all the lies

If you’re tired of wondering why
Your heart isn’t healing
And nothing feels like home
Cause you’re lost and alone just screaming at the sky

When you don’t know what to say
Just say Jesus
There is power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words won’t come
Cause you’re too afraid to pray
Just say Jesus

Whisper it now, or shout it out
However it comes out, He hears your cry
Out of nowhere He will come, you got to believe it
He will rescue you
Just call out to the Way, The Truth, The Light

As believers of Jesus, we know that there is power in the name of Jesus.

I think it is very good advice to tell someone who is hurting that they can just speak the name of Jesus as they struggle to even form words in the midst of devastating circumstances.

In fact, I think it is very good advice to remember it ourselves.

When we are hurting, we can just say, “Jesus” and He will hear us.

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.

—Psalm 18:6

 

my cry

 

Able to Give

 

As I stood in the backyard of a friend’s house, I admired the calm scene of water as it reflected the cloudy sky and the surrounding trees.

The afternoon visit was a contemplative one.

My friend and her husband had suffered a great loss.

Their infant son—only a few days old—passed away while in the hospital recently.

I am hoping that I will be able to comfort them in the coming weeks and months.

God has comforted me during times of loss, as well.

My husband and I lost a child through miscarriage and another child in an accident.

How can I help my friends?

The Bible says,

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:4

Is there someone you could comfort and encourage today?

 

comforts us

You Invited Me In

 

 

 

 

A few days ago, I stopped at a dollar store after work to get a few items.

As I parked my car in the lot, I noticed a very elderly woman on the sidewalk in front of the store.

She was obviously having a difficult time as she tried to maneuver a multi-footed cane.

Taking tiny steps near the entrance door, she looked as if she needed help.

For a few seconds I began to think of how I could go to her and assist her.

Before I could leave my car, though, an employee of the store came outside to her aid.

As he was opening the door and helping her enter the store, all was well.

I don’t know if the man who came to help this woman was a Christian or not, but he was displaying Christ-like behavior.

Jesus said,

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”

Matthew 25:31-36

Those on his right ask Jesus to tell them when it was that they helped him in these ways.

His answer?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:40

 

When we care for others–even if it is helping an elderly lady enter a store–Jesus knows.

When we give food to people who are hungry–Jesus knows.

When we show love to other people in need, it matters.

It matters a lot….

 

 

invited

 

 

The Lord’s Help

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Wait for the Lord’s help.
    Be strong and brave,
    and wait for the Lord’s help.

—Psalm 27:14

Someone I care about is facing a terminal illness.

I am waiting for the Lord’s help.

Someone I care about is struggling at their work.

I am waiting for the Lord’s help.

Someone I care about is angry with God.

I am waiting for the Lord’s help.

Someone I care about is distant and aloof.

I am waiting for the Lord’s help.

Someone I care about needs spiritual healing.

I am waiting for the Lord’s help.

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help

A Brother or Sister in Need

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If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

—1 John 3:17-18

I think God puts thoughts into our minds sometimes.

When my husband came home from work today, he was in a great mood.

He said it was a beautiful day and we should go somewhere and enjoy it.

I responded by suggesting that we go to a lakeside park and watch the sun set.

After we had been at the park for only a few minutes, we met a woman on the boardwalk who had a need.

My husband and I were able to help her with what she was needing.

We were there at just the right time.

The time, I believe, that God wanted us to be there.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that God cares so much for us that He will bring people to us when we need them?

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possessions

Better Off Than One

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There they were.

Two ducks sitting beside each other.

Together.

Not alone.

Although I don’t know exactly how being alone feels to a duck, I do know how being alone feels to me.

God has blessed me with friends and companionship throughout my life.

There have been numerous people who have come alongside me to help me succeed.

When I have fallen, God has provided friends who have reached out to help.

Friends are a true blessing from God.

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Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.

But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.

But how can one be warm alone?

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated,

but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.

Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

—Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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two

Lord! Help!

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Have you ever heard of a lament?

In the Bible, a lament is a prayer for help from God, brought on by pain.

When we are in physical pain or emotional pain, we can cry out to God for help.

When the pain of fear has a tight grip on us, we can cry to our heavenly Father and He hears us.

At times, we hurt because of our concern for someone else.

That pain can be very real.

The pain can be for a loved one who is making harmful choices.

It can be over the ungodly actions of those around us–a neighborhood, a city, a country–even the world.

Can you hear the pain in this prayer from the Old Testament?

Lord! Help! Godly men are fast disappearing.

Where in all the world can dependable men be found?

 Everyone deceives and flatters and lies.

There is no sincerity left.

–Psalm 12:1-2

Have you ever felt that way?

Wondering if there were really any people left who seek to live godly lives?

Wondering if any dependable people existed anymore?

Realizing that so many people are insincere in their words and actions?

Finding deceitfulness at every turn?

This verse is an pertinent today as it was two thousand years ago.

People everywhere are still making mistakes, still not following God and still being deceitful.

And because of that, we still hurt for others, hurt for ourselves and cry out to God in the midst of that hurt.

Whatever the problem may be, God is there.

Besides hurting because of the sinful actions of the world, people everywhere are suffering from illnesses beyond their control.

If we or someone we know is sick, God hears our prayers for help and healing.

He understands our lament, whatever it is about.

We need only cry out, “Lord! Help!”

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