The other day a friend in Australia wrote to me:
I’ve fractured some vertebrae helping [her husband] out of a chair a couple of days ago so I was home from church today. I snap like a twig so a little bit of the wrong kind of pressure is all it takes. Being home I watched Joel Osteen’s program and it was so encouraging and confirmed to me something I’ve practiced for years but lately have felt ‘bound’ by others who want to wrap me in cotton wool and have me stay safely at home!! Not really living a life of faith! So I’m back confessing I AM fearfully and wonderfully made!
This friend and I have shared our thoughts about Joel’s TV sermons before. I already intended to catch up with his latest message but this note made me do so immediately at the computer. I was glad. It struck ME as one that I, too, needed to hear (look for message #649 The Valley of Blessing at this page. If you only listen to the first 3 or 4 minutes you’ll hear Joel summarize the main point as he begins).
After our regular morning devotions the next day, I played the sermon for Melanie. She also thought it was timely encouragement for us.
Soon I noticed she had posted a note at Facebook:
For today’s devotions, we did our normal readings and then listened to a sermon on the ‘valley’. When you are in a valley, as a believer, read the Word of God concerning the ‘valleys’ in the lives of the people who walked with God from beginning to end and you find that their valleys didn’t last for long, prepared them for something more, or the valley got a name change. I believe it was definitely a word for us today as believers. God has a plan and it hasn’t changed. We will survive WELL and His name will be glorified.
About an hour later she told me to read the comments readers had added to her post. One came from a friend who suffers painfully from Lyme’s Disease.
As I lay on the floor in the bathroom today pleading for mercy I thought to myself …I wonder what she [Melanie] will share today. I am not even kidding. So as I read this I continue to give thanks that this too shall pass. To me two solid years of this feels more than I can bear but we are still here so there is a reason indeed!
We stared at that together and Melanie admitted she had almost NOT written anything at Facebook today. We reminded each other that it’s always worth the effort for the redeemed of the Lord to say something.
I had emailed a few friends to draw attention to the sermon video. Soon I heard back from several, including a childhood friend who had a terrible stroke a couple of years ago:
Oh Brother Rick, you have no idea how badly I needed to receive this message today. Thanks very much for sending it.
So many are needing the encouragement of what Jesus has to say to us. He is waiting for us to make the effort to share with them. This week I was reminded of that.