“God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.”
Sometimes the best encouragement comes through a true story, especially one that shows the mighty hand of God to be at work among us. Instead of the usual format, I’d like to encourage you this week with a true story. Each day the Encouragement will continue as the story unfolds. You don’t want to miss a single day!
It’s Break Time!
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John 10:9-10, NKJV
“I thought we’d never get here,” Tom said.
“Me either,” I replied. “I don’t remember when we had so many things go wrong in such a short amount of time! I mean, who ever heard tell of a tire blowing out in the middle of our driveway! But finally – we’re heeere!”
With the waves crashing on shore, and the warm spring sunshine on my face, I could feel the weight of busyness and stress begin to lift from my heart and mind. Our cold dreary winter had finally given way to the brilliant Carolina blue sky we look forward to every year. White puffy clouds floated swiftly overhead as salt air filled our nostrils. With sunscreen-slathered bodies, we looked like pack mules, loaded down with the umbrella, chairs, beach bag, and fishing gear. With our dog Sandy’s leash attached to the beach bag, we headed to the sand without a care in the world. Finally, it was sabbatical time! Now that the mission trip was over, the battle was over as well. There would be no more threats or enemy interference around every corner.
Reaching our sweet spot on the sand, I released the chair slung over my shoulder. Reaching to remove the chair from its encasing, I heard a Still Small Voice issue the warning…”watch out for black widow spiders.”
Instantly I was on guard, hesitant to touch the chair again. “I’m sure it’s just another threat from the enemy,” I thought. At the same instant, Tom and I reached out from opposite sides of the chair to extend its legs. As he turned to walk away, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. And there it was—a very large, shiny black spider, dangling in mid-air, on a string of web. And it was about to reach my leg. Jumping back, I looked closely to see it had turned upside down, with its back dangling toward the ground. A bright red spot flashed on its belly, shining bright as the noonday sun.
I’m so thankful I still had on my flip-flops because without thinking, I started stomping that spider for all I was worth. As it lay dormant on the sand, I peered over it, wondering if it was pretending to be dead. Realizing the only thing left was a black greasy spot, with long legs still attached, I should have been relieved. Instead, an ugly, dark wave of fear gripped my heart, stealing my peace, killing my joy, and stealing my rest …
But that’s not what Jesus promised in our verse today. Remember, these are words from today’s verses – from Jesus’ own lips to our ears:
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Join me tomorrow as the story continues…
Your Traveling Partner,