February 18, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Mary Nash, Certified Speaker, Proverbs 31 Ministries
"Come unto Me and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
In biblical times, if a lamb wandered away from the flock, the shepherd searched everywhere to find it. When the lost lamb was found, the shepherd broke one of the lamb's legs and then carried the wounded lamb on his shoulders until the leg was healed. The lamb would develop such a close relationship with the shepherd, that when given it was healed, it would never again wander from the one who had cared for it so tenderly.
In the last few years, I have discovered that I have drawn closest to the Savior when I was hurting the most. He has never failed me. The scripture, "Come unto Me and I will give you rest," has kept me going so many times when my body just wanted to quit. Now that I am cancer free, I can look back and picture myself being carried in the arms of Jesus. He was always there, urging me on, whispering in my ear to never give up, pulling me as close to Him as I was willing to come, all the time saying, "Come closer, my child; depend on Me completely and I will see you through this, no matter what the outcome."
He put some special people in my path, people who lifted me up and encouraged me with their love and prayers. I have come to believe that our steps are truly ordered - each and every one. My job is to seek out and walk in the steps He has planned for me.
Cancer certainly got my attention, but in all the chaos of wondering about the outcome came sure knowledge that I was being carried in strong loving arms that would never let me go. I asked God, "why", many times and while I know He understood my frailty as a servant, He kept giving me the same answer, "Hang on, I am with you, we can do this together." If you sometimes feel like one of those lambs with a broken leg, just know that if you ask, the Savior will pick you up, hold you tightly, and carry you until you can stand again. Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd always will forever call you to come closer, never pushing you away.
Are you currently in a time when you need to draw closer to the Savior?
What do you have to give to Him today?
How can you let your Shepherd pick you up and hold you ?
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or are persecuted or are hungry, or cold on in danger or threatened with death?" No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39 (NLT)
For Those Who Hurt (tape set) by Mary Southerland
Coming Out of the Dark by Mary Southerland
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart by Lysa Terkeurst
Originally published Friday, 18 February 2005.