Comfort

Archer Aiming

In the world of archery, comfortable bows never launch arrows.

Until the bow is stretched to near-breaking, the arrow never fulfills its purpose or reaches its target.

I fear that our craving for comfort may be slowly killing us all because we’ve redefined the term. [click to continue…]

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Gazing

Hold.

Such an ordinary, blue-collar word.

Industrial strength, geared for protection and defense, holding commands attention – not by rising to dizzying new heights of adventure or romance, but by remaining ruthlessly still…

Safe…

Steady.

Boring? Only when, in your desperation for a change, any change will do.

Oppressive? Only when you think the grass is greener somewhere else and you can’t get there.

Holding is a sign that somewhere there is someone or something that is stronger than you are – at least for the moment. You may be held back by your fears. Or held safely by that seat belt and airbag. Or held in the arms of someone who can comfort your heart.

But sooner or later fears subside. Belts are unbuckled. And people, however well-meaning, let go.

But there are everlasting arms and an all-powerful Strength that promises to hold you in love and peace long after all other sources are exhausted or used up.  [click to continue…]

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Dramatic religious photo illustration of Easter Sunday Morning reflecting a prayerful moment of silence with a silhoutted person bowing his head, a warm sunrise rises over a foggy lake, and three crosses appear as a vision on a hill, reflected in the water as well.

Oh, how I could sing forever of the amazing display of the way of His heart, His truth in your eyes, and the life of His Spirit, freely given and beautifully displayed in you, who have tasted and seen that He is good!  I pray for you, that He would:

Hold you in the palm of His hand as He brings restoration and healing to the broken places in your life – so that you sing His praises from a heart of peace…

Take you to the mountains of testimony to announce His peace and bring good news of happiness – so that your life declares that our God reigns… [click to continue…]

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For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning
(Psalm 30:5, NLT)

Until we experience the promise of a home where there is no more night, we all will encounter seasons that feel as though dawn is forever an hour away.  It’s not a matter of if , but when the shadows grow long and dark.  And no one, regardless of their faith or pedigree, is immune from the seasons when darkness comes.

When darkness comes, “tired” takes on a whole new meaning.  Every fiber of your being aches for rest, but rest remains taunting and elusive.  Even the simplest of routine tasks feels like labor to exhaustion when darkness comes. [click to continue…]

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It was a year ago today.  

In one sense, as my Dad said yesterday, it has flown by.  In another, it felt like a thousand years.

But if one thing has emerged from the past 365 days, it’s that when people or Bible writers talk about the “God of All Comfort,” I can say “Amen” and turn the pages with credibility.

But it didn’t start – or end – with the events surrounding my mother’s sudden death.  In fact, the biggest lesson of all was that healing of the heart is a journey through time.

Translation:  Don’t tell me how much comfort or encouragement you’re feeling in the funeral home.  You have no clue yet about comfort.  You’re still being buoyed and insulated by kind people and the truths of your faith.

Comfort – the real kind – comes later.

In the last year, I have been blessed to live what I have preached for years – that the words we use about a Heavenly Father who is who is able to empathize with our weaknesses and invites us to boldly approach a throne of grace are all true.  And believe me, other than the promise of eternal life, I can’t think of a promise that is more vital.

How does He do it?  If you’re the one just leaving the cemetery or the courthouse or the hospital, what can you expect?  How does the Lord put the pieces back together?  While every experience of loss – whether it is through death, rejection, forced job termination, or the death of a dream – is unique, I think I have found some common elements in the way our Heavenly Father brings about His healing. [click to continue…]

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