I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Attentive to Other’s Needs”

The desert is hot and humid. The sun beats down on a lone tree with its arms reaching out as though seeking the moisture that kisses its leaves.

The heat is oppressing but the dew from the night still lingers. The strong gnarled trunk stands majestically holding up the arms of time.

Beneath the shade of the old tree, at an old rock, a Man kneels. His head bowed and drops of sweat drip down His cheeks. His silent prayer becomes agonizing as His sweat turns to blood and drips down forever staining the rock.

“Take this cup” His anguished voice pleads to His Father.

Men, that He has called friends, slouch a few yards away, asleep. They hear not the anguished cry of their friend, the Man they called a friend.

Tears stream, blood-red sweat pours as the Man kneels with His head hanging low. “Not My will but Thine,” He finally whispers as His friends snore.

After some time, He slowly and painfully rises. He walks toward His friends and sees they are sound asleep. He stands silently looking down at them.

Slowly the closed eyes of His friends begin to open and they look up at the Man and make no apology as they rub their calloused hands across their eyes and beards.

“So you could not watch with Me an hour?” The Man states.

His friends say nothing.

The Man waits a moment.

Silence.

The Man finally turns and walks slowly away leaving his friends, slouched and yawning.

***

Matthew 26:38 “Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

***

In this story the disciples seem to ignore the plea of Jesus and place their own needs ahead of His. Do we do the same when we have a special day planned and the phone rings with a plea for help from a friend? The Word says that love is sacrificial and as the body of Christ, unlike Christ’s disciples in this story, we are to lay aside unimportant tasks to reach out to others in need. We possibly could be the only face of Christ that the person will see. I thank God that Jesus did not turn and walk away from the cross because of His own plans for the day.

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Thursday’s Pen Tip – Bearing Fruit

“Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords shall prosper.

Prosper in faith, growing in He who loves you, getting to know Him for what He is and who He is.

Bearing fruit is only possible when the Almighty is the foundation, the root of who you are and allowed to work through you and within you.

To walk in His light is but to ask. For to ask is to receive, proving you are asking for His will.

Walk in His love, seek Him in all that you do. Be faithful to His word and rejoice in His love.

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever He does prospers.” Psalm 1:3

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What’s with all this Suffering?

I don’t think there is a human being alive that hasn’t questioned the reason we humans suffer. Many have given the very simplistic answer that, “Well, it’s just God’s will.” Others go into all sorts of long exasperating explanations that make no more sense than the simplistic answer.

Can any of us ever really understand why we humans suffer? I don’t think so! God is so far above us in all aspects that there are just some things that we will never fully understand until we are standing before Him and He’s explaining some of it to us. Personally I like the idea that I have all of eternity to question Him.

I am no different from someone else who questions why did my husband die in the prime of his life? Or why do children suffer abuse from the hands of those who are supposed to love them? Or why did so and so die after I prayed fervently healing over them? Why did this happen or that happen? We all have questions and there seems to be no satisfying answer coming. Yes, some will turn their suffering into bitterness and turn from God. Others, that truly are close to the Lord and more mature in their faith may find strength through their suffering. We all react to suffering in various ways.

Well, today I got an answer that has encouraged me and has helped me to better understand what all this suffering is about. It came from the Holy Spirit and I hope it can be an encouragement to you, the reader as well. It has certainly shed new light and has given me a new perspective on why we suffer.

We have to think about God’s glory. Isn’t that what all of this Christianity stuff is about? Doing, praising, worshipping, all for His glory? God’s glory is so far above anything we can even imagine! Our lives on this earth in no way can come close to His glory. There is absolutely nothing that we suffer that can come close in comparison to His glory. No matter what has been done to us, no matter what hurt we have suffered, no matter what physical, emotional, financial, or even spiritual pain we have gone through or will go through comes remotely near His phenomenal and awesome glory.

We are like a baby in the womb. That baby struggles to live. It fights for every breath, it kicks, stomps, and maybe even screams and cries. It fights for life and waits and struggles for the day it will be expelled from the present world it is in. We’re like that baby in the womb fighting the umbilical cord waiting to be expelled from this our temporary home. We struggle daily, we suffer in a variety of ways, and we fight, sometimes for just the next breath, to make it the end.

The day we take our last breath and leave this earth is our birth. All this time on earth is as though we are in the womb. Suddenly we take our last breath and are expelled from our temporary world into the full glory of the Lord. ALL of His glory is within us, around us, above us and beneath us. We are encapsulated in glory!

That is what all this suffering is about! It is our time of preparation for the day we will be born into the full glory of God. Our suffering is over. No more tears, no more sorrows. Only the full and complete awesome glory of our Almighty God is now our new home.  We have left the womb of suffering, heartaches, and sorrow and Jesus says, “Welcome home.”

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Blessings to you.