Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.
Psalm 34:8 ESV
During the worst days and months of my grief journey, my default mode was to turn to close friends for help. Through them God kept His promise that He would make His people a blessing to others. They became God’s “promise keepers”. God designed community to be a place of blessing and encouragement for His hurting people. People, some who had never experienced their own personal deep grief, took a deep breath and answered God’s call to come alongside of me on this terrifying pathway. Others ahead of me in their own grief pilgrimage willingly stepped back into their grief to offer me help and hope. Still others, especially women I have never met and will not meet until I reach the destination of Home, demonstrated by their lives that God is sovereign and I can trust Him.
Anna the Prophetess in the New Testament who had a significant impact on Mary the mother of Jesus, is one of those women I look forward to greeting in Heaven. Over the past few weeks we have enjoyed the company of Hannah along with Anna on our pilgrimage fueled by hope. This week, we welcomed Mary, the mother of Jesus. Though Hannah and Mary never met, we see Hannah’s fingerprints all over Mary’s response to the incredible declaration of the angel and the pathway on which God placed Mary. The similarities in their worship songs indicate that Mary found strength and courage through Hannah’s response to disappointment. And today we find similar strength and courage.
Each one of these people, those who walk with us in our daily lives and those who call back to us who are further ahead in life’s pilgrimage, are vital parts of the covenant community promised to believers by our God.
As you start each day, think about those who are walking life’s pathway with you. How do their lives influence your response to bumps along the pathway or deep crevices when your life falls down around you? Are you enjoying the blessings of the community God promised to grow through the seed of Abraham? What difference does it make to you to know that the promises God made to Abraham, including the promise of community, are yours if you know Jesus? Is it your turn to call back to someone coming behind you in life’s journey, someone who needs to hear you say, “God is sovereign and you can trust Him – even in this scary place?”
STORE UP MORE TREASURE
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview "The Grace Land Of Marriage And Disability: A Conversation With Joan And Jerry Borton" 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 and teaser of this resource:
Jerry was born with Cerebral Palsy and Joan had worked with people who have disabilities throughout her life, so she thought she knew what she was signing up for when they were married. In this transparent interview, Joan and Jerry share the challenges of marriage and disability. But you might be surprised at what they describe as some of their greatest challenges. Listen as Joan and Jerry offer hope to people with disabilities, to the parents of children with disabilities, and to others as well.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.