Solace

Solace. 

Isn’t that a pleasant word?  The dictionary defines it as “comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort.”  Has someone provided solace for you?  Have you provided solace for someone?

I watched “Little Miss Sunshine” until very late last night.   While I cannot in good conscience recommend the content of the movie at all, I can recommend the message.  (I can’t recommend the content due to rampant, vile, foul language, overt drug usage, and inappropriate sexuality.)  However, the message of the movie is about love, forgiveness, family, perseverance, and redemption.

What does that have to do with solace?  Everything!  There is one scene in the movie where the little girl comforts her brother by merely sitting with him, putting her arm around him, and leaning her head on his shoulder.  She never utters a word.  She just provides comfort in sorrow or trouble.

 

 

To me, that is the heart of ministry.  We won’t always know the words to say or actions to take.  But can’t we just sit with someone?  Can’t we take their sorrow on our shoulders?  It is not always possible to fix things; sometimes just being there is solace enough.  Job’s friends did this for him in his time of great affliction.  (One of my professors says that we should all be as Job’s friends – BEFORE they started talking! LOL)

 We have another Biblical example of this when Jesus told us this in John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Jesus, the Lord of all, sent us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to provide us solace.  Our job is to share that solace with those around us who need it.   I’m pretty sure that’s a full-time job.

 

 

Comfortingly,

~Lynne~

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In Christ Alone

My “human” post was somewhat of a downer, I felt.  While I absolutely meant everything that I said in it, I did want to tell you about my hope.  While this life is frequently hard and stinky, I have an eternally secure hope that hard and stinky are only temporary.  FOREVER and EVER, life will be wonderful and beautiful!  This song sums up my feelings on it.

 

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

(emphasis mine)

~Lynne~

Here is my ABSOLUTE favorite rendition, done by Owl City:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnWw24s5gG8

 

Stop!

“One does not have to understand to be obedient.”  Madeline L’Engle, Walking on Water (1980)

“Stop!” the father said to his son. 

The son’s obedience to that command saved his life.

The young family was leaving a fast-food restaurant.  They filed out with the active young boy in front (as usual), and then his younger sister followed by Mom and Dad.  Due to the design of the doorway in this particular restaurant, customers exited the building straight into the drive-thru lane.  Also due to the design, you had to poke your head around the corner to determine that no cars were coming through that lane. You could, however, see the lane before you stepped through the doors to head outside.

In our story, the boy could not see what was coming, but his father could.  What was coming was a white Jeep driven at a high rate of speed by a teenager. The ever-rambunctious, 6-year-old quite typically would have just charged ahead toward the family car which was parked straight out from the door of the restaurant.  But his father saw danger that he did not and spoke that one word.  The father was not prone to yelling and did not do so that day either.  He spoke loudly enough for his son to hear.  Thankfully, that son instantly complied and stopped on a dime as the Jeep charged by within feet of him.  He would have surely been crushed had he made one or two more steps forward.

The family continued on to their van and spent a few moments thanking God for His protection.

You see, I know this story well.  It happened to our family.  My husband was that wise father, and our son was that obedient boy.  I am so grateful for both.

There was another Father whose Son listened obediently and intently to His words as well.  He did all that his Father commanded.  This Son said the following words when challenged to prove that He was the Messiah,

                   Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one” (John 10:25-30, NLT). 

In this story, Jesus tells the crowd that He has already told them who He is, but they can’t hear because they are not His.  If we are His, our ears and hearts are tuned to His voice.  We eagerly obey His commands and prompts.  We stop on a dime if He directs because we love Him and want to please Him, but, even more importantly, because Jesus loves us and wants to protect us and care for us.  We are safe in His care.   

I am thankful that Nicholas (now almost 20) was tuned to the sound of his father’s voice all those years ago.  I am thankful that Steve was highly attentive to the safety of his family.  It was only one word, but it made all the difference.

“No one is as deaf as the man who won’t listen.”  Jewish Proverb

 ~Lynne~

“I don’t know a single person who truly seems to bear the mark of God’s presence and power in his or her life who hasn’t been asked by God to be obedient in a way that was dramatically painful.”  Beth Moore, Believing God  (2004)

And, FINALLY, a picture of the above dad and boy at their 1st baseball All-Star game in June, 1992.  (I had this stupid picture cropped, but I can’t figure out to insert it into this post once I have it cropped.  Will continue working on that.)  So, here is my lameness for now.