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Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Mollie resting in her hiding place, her cozy dog den.
"The Comfort Of God's Unfailing Love"
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"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4). "You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah" (Psalm 32:7). "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life" (Psalm 119:50). "May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant" (Psalm 119:76). “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). "Therefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Just after 5 this morning we had a loud storm sweep over our area. Roxie, our nine year old dog has never been too afraid of lightning and thunder but Mollie, our younger border collie, is absolutely terrified. Her only solace is being right next to us, including jumping up on our bed, something we strictly forbid. She will come shaking and want to jump up to get her face in our hands which seems to help some. We try to reassure and comfort her (away from the bed).
The other thing we have noticed is the security she feels when lying in her den. We recently received a piece of furniture that doubles as a dog den. To her it's like a hiding place of safety. We placed it in our living room so that she is near us but also provides the security of a closed place. She has been crate-trained since she was a pup and apparently finds security when she's in her own little house. If we're outside don't we run into our house when we see streaks of lightning or hear claps of thunder? I (Brooksyne) remember as though it were yesterday when I got caught in a lightning storm with trees falling all around me. About 25 years ago I was riding my bike and got caught in the frightening downpour when we lived in St. Marys, PA. All I wanted was to get back to my house which I couldn't do because of fallen trees in the road.
Where do you find comfort and assurance during the thunderstorms of life? So many escape the harsh realities of life by using alcohol and drugs. Others might find a trip to the casino a way to get the problem out of their mind. Of course these temporary escapes are in a sense like IEDs planted by the enemy of our soul (easily disguised and very destructive). We can easily increase our problems when we use comfort aids that are not consistent with God's way of working matters out in our lives.
One of the greatest blessings in life is to have family and friends. We are never more aware than when it is taken away from us, and for some that has happened. But we can all find lasting comfort and assurance in our greatest refuge, God Himself, who makes Himself available to everyone for life's duration as well as eternity.
Today let us consider those events in our life that are similar to the way Mollie perceives a thunderstorm (please indulge me as I use our pet for illustration purposes). These events can vary in intensity and duration and may be described with different phrases such as "When Your World Falls Apart" or "The Bottom Fell Out". That's what Mollie was experiencing, although we know that "this too shall pass". In fact as this message was being prepared the storm passed and she was delighted to go outside and play frisbee! But, of course, we know there's another storm that will make its appearance at some point in the future, maybe even later today.
Find comfort in God's Word. Our daily verses, a small selection of verses on God's comfort points to a great verity; the unfailing love of the Lord. I am glad for the rod and staff of the Lord that has brought comfort to millions through the ages and continues to do so to this day. I am glad for His very great and precious promises today. They are ever dependable! I am also thankful for so many of you whom I know personally and draw strength from your prayers and friendship.
Steadfast living in difficult times requires a focus on the "things that matter most". That includes finding joy and fulfillment in God and the people He has placed in our lives, rather than that which has only earthly value.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your rod and Your staff are a daily comfort to me. I'm comforted in the midst of my suffering because You promise to preserve my life, whether in this life or the next. May Your unfailing love, according to Your promise, be my daily companion and steady comfort. Not only is it a comfort to me but I can also comfort and assure other believers with these promises. Your name, Father God, is a strong tower where we can run to and be preserved as we deal with the adversity of this troubled world. We thank You for it. Amen.
Prayer inspired by our daily text verses today.
Indian River Inlet Bridge, Southern Delaware.
We have gone over this bridge numerous times during the daytime but were unaware it had the cobalt blue lighting effect.
(Photo by Duke)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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