Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Journey Devotional

I was physically hurting so bad on Monday I didn't do my devotional reading from my Journey. I am amazed at how the Lord works. I sat down thinking I was reading today's devotional; I didn't realize it until just now that I read Monday's devotional instead. This comes in perfect timing for those of us that know Eddie Echarri and that his time on earth is coming to an end very soon; but also for those that are dealing with other areas of heartache. It is also very fitting for those who will be doing the comforting.

I hope it's OK to do this, as I am going to copy word for word the text of today's Journey Devotional. Journey's are magazine type devotionals available through LifeWay. You can check with your church and see if they offer it. I get mine through my church.


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Sitting across from Joanna, I remembered the first time I lost a loved one. As I listened intently, I was overwhelmed with emotion and empathy for her pain. I reached across the table without interrupting what she was saying, and I took her hand in mine. Inwardly, I prayed, Lord, please bring to my mind the words and actions that have comforted me so that I can help Joanna.
When Joanna was finished talking, I moved my chair to her side and I put my arms around her. She leaned in and began to sob. We sat together like this for a few seconds when I felt moved to pray. As God brought words to mind, I prayed for Joanna.

In the story of Job, three friends come to him to mourn and to comfort. However, as you read the story, you see that there was a lot more criticism than comfort being spoken by the friends. They operated out of their own thoughts and advice. No godly comfort was given to Job, and he ended up defending his beliefs and actions to these three friends. In the end, Job was restored, and it was he who lifted up his friends.
We've all experienced difficult times in our lives, when perhaps the only true comfort we felt was during our private time with God. Sometimes putting our experience of God's comfort into words isn't possible. But if we choose to trust God during times of trial, our pain will not be wasted.
God will equip us to minister to others who are hurting (see 2 Corinthians 1:4). We can lean on His wisdom for the right words and actions, learning to listen and obey as He calls us to help our friends.

The "Deeper Walk" scriptures especially spoke to my heart. 2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 7.

Starting in verse 3, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank my God for you because of God's grace given to you in Christ Jesus, that by Him you were made rich in everything - as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you, so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Reading on to verse 9, "GOD IS FAITHFUL..."

How this scripture helps my heart....I thank God that He sent a heroine addict to Pensacola, Florida to get radically saved and live for Jesus Christ, to share the Gospel of Hope to the hurting. In my heart, while I know Eddie has touched many, many thousands of lives, the Lord brought him from New York City to Pensacola just for me. If not for the Grace Eddie received, imagine the lives that would not have been blessed to hear the Gospel of Christ. Eddie has been able to reach a group of culture that no pastor could reach. My life has been richly blessed because of Eddie and seeing him continue to grow in the Lord.

God is Faithful.

My continued prayers are with his wife and his other family members. Selfishly, I am still praying for that miracle, but after reading today's, well, Monday's, devotional, my heart seems to be a little more at rest.

Touch some body's life for Jesus today.

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