Our God Who Raises the Dead, Part 2
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:9 (ESV)
Take a page from Eve’s life. The heart of a life-giver learns that God is the reference point for every detail in life. The answers to all of our questions, including how to offer help and hope to hurting people, how to interact with a wayward child, how to help turn a grieving widow’s heart toward Jesus, and more, come from Him. The widow in the beginning of this devotional is like Eve, broken hearted at the death of her dreams, the love of her life. Death creeps around her heart and home. But God is the one who raises the dead to life. She spills out her hurt to God and cries out to Him for help. There is hope for this woman, especially if a friend recognizes the opportunity to be a life-giver. Perhaps you are like that widow and you desperately need life-giving encouragement. Start as this widow does, cry out to the Lord, plead with Him to open your eyes to His presence.
Personalize Psalm 23. Write it out in your journal with your name throughout, i.e. “Though I, Jane Anne, walk through the valley of death, the Lord will go with me. I, Jane Anne, will fear no evil…..” Ask the Lord to send you an encourager but also ask Him how you can be a life-giving encourager to others as well.
Are you lonely, broken by shattered dreams? Is it possible that one way the Lord will meet you in your loneliness is by your offering life-giving encouragement to others? A friend who is a widow concluded that if the dinner hour was the worst time of the day for her, then other widows or single women might feel the same way. Still trying to find a new normal after the death of her husband, she invited a group of widows to join her for dinner once a month. From that gathering new friendships developed and together they found ways to experience the life-giving hope of Jesus. Ask the Lord to show you someone who needs His life-giving touch today and more specifically how you can offer life-giving encouragement to her or him.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the the MARKINC website and listen to the Autism audio resource with Lori Sealy so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary teaser of this resource:
Nearly aborted, graciously adopted and later abandoned, Lori Sealy has traveled the road of atheism and lived a life of autism. Lori was diagnosed with Autism as an adult and not long after that diagnosis learned her son had autism as well. In this interview, parents of a young man who has autism ask Lori the questions burning in the hearts of other parents with high functioning children that struggle every day with the "thorn of autism."
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.