Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.”
Psalm 23: 3
Thy Way, O Lord
“Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be!
Lead me by Thine own hand;
Choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight it matters not,
It leads me to Thy rest.
I dare not choose my lot,
I would not if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So shall I walk aright.
The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine; so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.
Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my guide, my strength,
My wisdom, and my all.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Saviour, and my hope is in You all day long.”
Psalm 25: 4, 5
“God’s Path Through the Storm”
“The eagle that soars in the upper air does not worry itself as to how it is to cross rivers.”
Right now do I feel as though the path I’m on is leading through a violent storm and my way seems dark and ominous?
Have I asked my heavenly Father to carve a path through the storm?
“There’s a stream of trouble across my path;
It is black and deep and wide.
Bitter the hour the future hath when
I cross its swelling tide.
But I smile and sing and say:
‘I will hope and trust alway.’”
“Seek after faithfulness. Trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 37: 3, 4
The Holy Bible
From Ancient Eastern Manuscripts
“What if to-day we wistful stand, and on the future gaze; we see not far – nor understand- the road is wrapped in haze: God still will lead, by His good hand, by unexpected ways.”
J. Danson Smith
There are times in all our lives when the days seem to flow along quite smoothly. Maybe, if you are like me, you breathe a sigh of relief, delighted that everything is going so well.
And then, as if out of the blue, a storm of trouble rolls in that upsets your world in ways that seem impossible to understand. For the last couple weeks, this is how things in my personal world appeared to transpire. The trouble started when my Jim told me one morning that he had a pain in his chest. All I could think of was the unexpected death of my dad over 25 years ago after having just an “insignificant pain in his chess.” Immediately, we got Jim in to see the doctor who thankfully, wasted no time in getting Jim in for a thorough cardiac exam that did not reveal any major problems. But as Jim was getting tested, right at the same time, our beloved Baby Ethel, our precious Doxie stopped eating – and believe me – Ethel is known for her tremendous appetite! So off we went to the local “vet” to see if we could uncover the problem and much to our sorrow, our little baby was suffering from acute pancreatitis as well as kidney failure. The fact was that the doctors (3 of them) held out little hope that she would improve, only made the situation worse. Then my mother shared with me that she had not been feeling very well for several weeks.
I must tell you that with the two dearest humans on earth sick, my husband and mother, as well as my precious Baby Ethel who for nearly 12 years has brought untold joy into our lives and now is also critically ill, it made me feel as if a storm of massive proportions had blindsided me. It took several days to regroup and Jim and I decided that congregating at my mother’s house in Phoenix might be a good place to start. Thankfully, in the coming days, my mother found a good doctor: Jim had all the necessary tests to put our minds at ease; and our little Ethel, with her will of iron and the prayers of family and friends, began to pull out of the extreme health issues that threatened her life. As Jim and I packed up at my mom’s house, getting ready for the two hour drive home, I took a look at the weather report. I’ll freely admit, that since our car accident, I don’t like to be on the road traveling in severe weather. Unfortunately, last week the remnants of the hurricane which hit the coastal region of Cabo San Lucas decided to make its way into the states of Arizona and New Mexico. And wouldn’t you know it, on just the day when we were returning home, the sky was dark and threatening clouds were ominous. As we began the trip home, I asked that our heavenly Father would be with us on our journey in spite of the bad weather.
As we began our trip, within a few minutes, the rain decreased as the road curved east. I won’t take you through every twist and turn of our journey home. But for the next two hours, this same unlikely situation continued to happen. Just as I thought we were going to drive right into some wall of water, the road shifted slightly in a different direction and we missed the worst of the storm. Over five times this happened – huge thunderclouds would move just before the road we traveled wound right into them. As I watched this amazing situation unfold before my own eyes, it was as if I was watching a heavenly Hand push the storm clouds out of the way as my Father carved a pathway for us right through the midst of the storm.
Now I’ll be honest. There have been times in my life when I would not have given much thought to my heavenly Father’s intervention in my life. In fact, I wouldn’t have given Him credit for much of anything in my life. Things just happened and you just got through it. That was my rather cavalier attitude about much of what transpired in life. But not anymore. Let’s just say that where I once saw an interstate highway, I now see a pathway, where my Father has left His guideposts and signs of His presence. Even the storms, I have found, are opportunities for me to watch my Father at work, doing the unexpected for me.
In the great literary masterpiece, Pilgrim’s Progress, penned by John Bunyan when a prisoner in Bedford County Gaol, there is a reflection of the heavenly thoughts and words written during a time of great distress in the author’s own life. Call it a journey through a storm. Bunyan so beautifully pens: “My Father, may I ever humbly follow in Thy way; may I ever trust, with the full assurance of faith, that it does lead to Thy heavenly kingdom. It is after a very narrow and perplexing way, and I cannot see where it is leading me; yet, though the guiding light of Thy holy Word may be half obscured by the mists of the valley, if I fix my eye steadily upon it, it will become brighter and brighter; I shall see my way clearly in this seemingly intricate road, and even discern at the end of it the entrance to Thy heavenly mansion. The storms of the pilgrimage are there hushed to silence; fierce tempests cease to flow; all is blessed sunshine, calm and sweet repose.”
Is your life encompassed by clouds? Does the stormy weather appear as though it could sweep you away? Then may the words of the Psalmist David be ours today, “Show me Thy ways, O Lord, teach me Thy path, lead me” (Psalm 25: 4,5) May we see God’s pathway through the storm – no matter how fierce it may be.
Through The Storm
“On either side the mountains lift
their towering summits high;
Alas, their steep and rugged cliffs our
human strength defy!
But down between there winds a path
that leads at last to home.
Where sheltered from the piercing winds,
the tender ones may roam.
On either side, on either side,
the woods in darkness lie,
And close the tree-tops overlean
to hide the bending sky;
But creeping through the quiet shade
the timid sunbeams come
To tell of day that dawns afar,
to light the pathway home.
On either side, on either side, shut in,
we may not see
How near the tide that rolls beyond,
our eager hearts may be;
But, as we listen, through the hush
we catch the sound once more,
The music of the restless waves
that beat upon the shore.
Beneath our feet, beneath our feet,
how rugged lies the way!
Footsore and weak we wander on,
and weary grows the day;
But through the vista opening how
calm the blue hills lie,
Beneath whose shadows we rest
in comfort by-and-by.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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