January 29, 2011

Reminders From the Valley - Comfort in Strange Places

I am always moved by the way God's word speaks to me differently depending on where I am in my life at the time. This summer my family set out to read our Bibles through one time each month. When everything started to go askew I was in the middle of the book of Joshua. That book is so Victorious and so full of encouragement. It seems it would be a good place to be during a time of trial.  But not for me, not at this time.  I couldn't rest there. Focusing on my reading was impossible. I would sit for an hour and read the same words over and over and have no idea what I had read. It just wasn't a place where I could meet the Lord at that time.

Knowing how desperately I needed to Word to sustain me, I turned my focus to the book of Psalms. A book full of words to lift the aching and weary soul. Many times it has been my choice book in times of confusion, pain or sorrow.  But no, it was not the place for me to find solace at this time, either.

It was when I stumbled on 1 Chronicles 16 that my head started to clear and I began to regain my spiritual focus.  David's words in verses 8-12
"Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;"
I had just finished an extensive study on this book in our FBI class but these words just zipped right past me.  That morning, however they were just the words I needed to remind me the way to get through any trial.  

Somehow I ended up in the book of Nehemiah next. In the past, I had always viewed this as the historical record it is. As in every book of the Bible, there are uplifting and encouraging places that can get God's people really revved up for service.    But, this was the first time I had ever seen it as such a personal book for me. Reading about God's people taking nothing and in His name and power doing so much with so little, gave me a hope that I could find no where else at the time. If the Lord could use such a small remnant to rebuild so much, surely He could rebuild my family and make my days filled with sunshine again.

For sure, sometimes comfort and encouragement are found in the oddest places.

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