October 8, 2010
We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of the women who have blessed our lives as girlfriends.
From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our "Friday Friends." So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend," Mary Nash.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV) "Come unto Me and I will give you rest."
Friend To Friend
In biblical times, if a lamb wandered away from the flock, the shepherd searched for that lamb until he found it. The shepherd sometimes broke one of the lamb's legs and then carried the wounded lamb on his shoulders until the leg was healed. The lamb developed such a close relationship with the shepherd, that when its leg was healed, the lamb would never again wander away from the one who had rescued it and cared for it so tenderly.
The loss of a loved one is always so difficult to survive. When the doctors diagnosed my dear husband with pancreatic cancer, we both knew we were facing some very difficult days. Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease and usually has a very poor prognosis. Although I have lived through many unhappy situations and experienced great disappointment in my life, losing my husband was absolutely the worst. I just didn't know how I was going to get through this one. But somehow, I have survived the loss of my husband.
Some days, the only good thought I have is that I will be with him again in Heaven. I miss him every day and the only way I can find hope is to claim the promise of the peace and rest promised by the Savior. I have drawn closest to the Savior when I am hurting the most. He is really the only one who can sooth my pain. There may not be much understanding on my part, but there is a longing to draw so close to the Savior that I will totally rely on His love and His promises. 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 emotions wanted to just give in completely to despair and depression. I try to visualize myself being carried in the arms of Jesus. He is always there, urging me on, whispering in my ear to never give up, pulling me as close to Him as I am 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 happens."
God has put some special people in my path, people who lift me up and encourage 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 - even when those steps are filled with pain and confusion.
Cancer certainly gets our attention, but in all the emotional chaos of wondering what will happen also comes the sure knowledge that I am being carried in strong loving arms that will never let me go. I asked God "why" many times and while I know He understands my frailty as a servant, He keeps 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, will forever call us to come closer, never pushing us away.
Even when life comes at us like a hurricane, we know we have the hope of Jesus Christ. We know why we are here on this earth - to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him - so that we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Cling to the hope that can only be found in knowing God. Share that same hope with those who are hurting, broken and looking for a Savior.
Dear Father, even in the depths of my sadness and depression, just keep reminding me how much you love me and are willing to walk each step with me, always being there, sharing every tear and fear along the way. Help me to always share my innermost feelings with you and to draw closer to you each day.
In Jesus' Name
Now It's Your Turn
Are you currently in a time when you need to draw closer to the Savior?
What do you have hiding in your heart that you need to share with Him today?
How can you let the Shepherd pick you up and hold you?
More From The Girlfriends
Storms are a reality of life. We will all face difficult circumstances and be tempted to lose hope. Check out Mary Southerland's book, Hope in the Midst of Depression and her DVD, Strength for the Storm.
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Friday, 08 October 2010.