I have not been to Israel
To touch its Holy sites
Nor to the Sea of Galilee
Where You taught your disciples
But Your voice that calmed a storm
Has spoken in my mind
And Your hands that healed the sick
Have gently taken mine
And the Lord of all the earth
Has walked with me today
To forgive my sin
Renew my Hope
And give me Life
Teach me His Truth
So I could learn His Way
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted Matthew 5:4 NKJV
Frustration, a sense of failure, and helplessness conspired together this morning till tears flowed briefly down my face. Then God reminded me that my walk with Him is always and only by faith. To draw nearer we each must step outside the safety of our own understanding and onto the waters of trusting in Him alone. There comes a peace knowing that following his footsteps means walking with Him among the billows! There is where I am reminded again that He is the Great Comforter!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
This was a bad week for us from our small perspective. One close friend died and we got news that another couple we loved were getting a divorce. Then yesterday I was in terrible pain from a small workplace accident. We were talking about going to the emergency room but decided to pray and wait for morning. My plans seemed to have come apart and yet as my wife prayed for my badly bruised ankle a peace overtook me. In spite of all I am overwhelmed by gratitude for the life God has given. Today is the day we celebrate the birthday of our oldest son! We have each other still though 44 years to pray together as we pass through deep waters. Just like you I do not understand in the heat of my painful moments why God would allow it to happen like this but he does and then works it all together for good. Just like a corn field needs someone to plow it up then disk it down. Someone has to turn the earth upside down before it can look good right side up! God is still and always so good!
Some years ago when we visited Brazil I was overwhelmed with our first breakfast. Neither eggs and bacon, nor cereal and toast was set out. Instead our hosts put fresh fruit, hot coffee, Brazilian cheese and best of all,delicious smelling fresh bread on the table! I was reminded of my mother’s bread baking, with its aroma wafting out our back kitchen door. It didn’t take long for me and all my buddies to show up in the kitchen angelically begging for a small piece. In my imagination I remembered warm bread with butter melting down into its cracks and crevices!
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:35
When Jesus was here on earth it was in some way as if God had left open the window and anyone near enough could sense the fragrance of heaven. Fresh bread means not only that its aroma draws people to come but that it is not ‘day old’ bread. When Jesus said “I am the bread of heaven”, He also meant, He had come to meet our needs today. He knows exactly what we are facing right at this moment and if we will receive His words then they will speak to our struggles. Those words caused Mary to sit at his feet and for soldiers to return to their officers empty-handed saying “No man ever spoke like this man!” His hands cleansed a leper whom no one would touch and His voice calmed waves lapping into the boat. His prayer raised a dead child and His death caused a hardened centurion to believe. Whatever need, whatever injury, whatever struggle we are facing right at this moment, Jesus whispers in the depth of our souls, “I am the Bread of Life!”
For followers of this blog you may find this collection of poems and reflections to be a blessing. Included are some of the best liked songs, poems and memories from the last few years on this site as well as some from the past. I pray these will be an encouragement to allow the hands of Christ to heal old wounds, to trust God’s grace through present difficulty and to go away focused with hope in Him for the future!
You can follow this link directly to the page for more information or your can search it out on Amazon: Book number ASIN: B01M3YWSRW
. Be blessed today!
Memories and Poems
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction 2 Corinthians 1:3
Often we may hear messages to come out of our comfort zone. Some calls for us to dare to launch out on a new challenge. But if our hearts are filled with sorrow because of our own weakness and failures, it may sound in our ears like the cry of the taskmasters of ancient Egypt, “Make bricks for us without straw!”. The problem we have is not a lack of desire to press forward, but the lack of control over the issues that daily hammer away at us. In our hearts we feel like the sun is going down on our own hopes and dreams, but there is a God who sees beyond our own horizon to a Holy comfort zone by His side.
Paul was encouraging the believers in Corinth to realize that like him, they because of their suffering they would one day be able to give to others the comfort that God had given them. Our ability to give depends one hundred percent on our ability to receive. It is like the national debt. We can’t forever spend money we don’t have without one day risking bankruptcy. Without having first being truly comforted no one can step out of their comfort zone. We will only begin to comfort others after the Holy Spirit pours it into our own hearts. Our responsibility is that when we are in our moments of pain and humiliation that we leave the door unlocked for God to enter in.
As Jesus said – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted Matthew 5:4
Note carefully that Jesus never said, “Blessed are those who deny their sorrow”. We will all pass through the valley of the shadows but in that valley we will find our shepherd walking by our side. On the day that we walk out into the sunshine of his comfort we receive from the Lord an alabaster jar that at just the right moment we can pour out on the feet of others struggling on their journeys. That is the comfort zone that God has prepared for us!
There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.