February 5, 2004

Encouragement for Today

 

Come Closer My Child                                                                     

Mary Nash – Certified Speaker

 

Key Verse:

 

Come unto me and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

 

 

Devotion:

 

In Biblical times when a lamb wandered away from its flock, the shepherd would search until he found the lost sheep, and then break one of its legs, carrying the lamb on his shoulders until the leg was completely healed. During this time of painful healing the lamb experienced the shepherd’s love and care in such a way that it never wandered away again.

 

I have battled cancer for several years.  While there have been many dark and lonely times it has been in the darkest and loneliest moments that I have drawn closest to God, my Shepherd.  When I was hurting the most His faithful love brought healing. Even though I have wandered away from that love many times, He has never failed me, constantly drawing me back into His arms. The scripture, “Come unto me and I will give you rest”, has kept me going when my body just wanted to quit.

 

Now that I am cancer free I can look back and see myself being carried in the arms of Jesus.  He was always there, encouraging me to never give up, pulling me as close to Him as I was willing to come. “Come closer, my child.  Depend on me completely and I will see you through this, no matter what the outcome”, He promised.  And He did.  Even though I questioned God at every turn, He kept giving me the same answer. “Hang on, I am with you.  We can do this together”. 

 

If you sometimes feel like a lost lamb, broken and hurting, hang on!  God, your loving Shepherd, will pick you up, hold you tightly and carry you until you can stand again.  No matter how lost you may be, no matter how many times you have wandered away from God, He will never push you away, always calling you to come closer. 

 

Cancer certainly got my attention!  But in the midst of emotional chaos and irrational fears came the certainty, a sure knowledge that I was being carried in strong loving arms that would never let me go.

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Dear Father, thank you for your unconditional love and your constant calling to come closer.  Thank you for letting me crawl into your lap where I can share my deepest hurts and concerns with You.  Forgive me when I try to do things on my own.  Thank you for your Son who has carried my sin. I love you.  Amen.

 

 

Application steps:

 

Tell God everything.  He can handle it.  Our circumstances may not change but the way we handle them will. 

 

 

Reflection points:

 

Do I really believe that He will never fail me?  Why or why not?

 

Does the promise of Heaven change your perspective on life?  In what way(s)?

 

Be willing to give all your fears, cares, and hurts to the One who understands it all - no matter where you have been, what you have been through or what you have done.

 

 

Power verses:

 

Jeremiah 6:16, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the god way is, and walk in it: Then you will find rest for your souls.”

 

Deuteronomy 12:10b, “He gives you rest from all your enemies round about so you dwell in peace.”

 

Ephesians 2:13-14b, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our rest.”

 

 

Additional resources:

 

Coming Out of the Dark by Mary Southerland

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/outofdark.html

 

At Home with God by Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/athome.html

 

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/radical.html