It looked like she might be sentenced to three years in jail.
She had spent eighteen months there and was loathe to think that she might have to return; of having to give up three more years of her life.
What could I say to her?
Were there words of encouragement to be said?
The young man in the hospital bed trembled in pain.
Just twenty-two years old, yet the pain etched on his face belied that fact.
There are many symptoms, but no diagnosis. The doctors are at a loss right now.
What could I say to him?
How could I make a difference there?
Just two of many people who are in crisis.
Crises that they both have aided and abetted.
Addiction is a deranged motivator.
It is also a destroyer of life and limb.
These two precious ones have struggled with the beast for years.
It has left its mark.
So were there, are there words of encouragement for them and all the rest of us who struggle with our own beasts?
You know the answer to that question.....
A resounding YES!
The Good News is that there is hope, a sure hope....
The Words that bring that hope are from the Living God.
They are the Word of God.
As I speak and pray with those who Papa brings across my path, I do not stop at the fact that we are broken, sinful and unholy on our own.
No, the news that we all need to hear and receive is that the Holy One has made a way for us to not only approach him, but also enter into relationship with Him!
And He made the way because He so loves us that He couldn't hold Himself back from sacrificing His own precious Son for us!
He loves to love us.
Papa delights in blessing us.
The only hindrance is when we don't receive Him and His love.
When we receive, then have a Presence who goes through all the struggles with us.
He promises never to leave us, nor forsake us.
He may not remove all the hard stuff, but He will work it out for good in the end.
Because He loves us.
The other day I was reflecting on how faith in Jesus Christ, a.k.a. the Christian faith, is the only one whose followers are motivated by love alone.
Not to appease...
Or to earn favor...
Nor to avoid punishment...
But out of love for the One who loves us.
In First John we read that,
"God is Love."And,
"We love Him because He first loved us."That is the essence of our faith.
When a person gets a true taste of His love for them, they are never the same.
And where His love is there is hope and peace; a future.
That is what I tell everyone who will listen.
That is what I pray they receive.
Yes, there are Words of encouragement, because they are His Words, Words coming from the one Who loves us and died to be sure we could enjoy that love.