Words…comforting like an old familiar friend

Tonight I found myself longing to spend some time curled up with my Bible. I went to the book of Micah in the Old Testament where I’ve been many times before. Sometimes I like to read a part of the Bible that I can manage to read in its entirety in one sitting. This was one of those times.

Longing, needing to find comfort, I read along until my eyes came to the passage that asks and then answers the question, “what does the Lord require of thee oh man?” “…to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” How tenderly my heart wraps itself around these precious words, so simply put, so poignant, powerful, and true…(Micah 6:8)

Another tremendous encouragement is found in Micah 7:7, “But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” This said by a sinner like me, one who had no doubt failed many times…we all do, yet he new something of the character of his Lord and there is where his hope and his assurance found anchor.

And in Micah 7:18 we find the question and then response, “Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.” How that strikes at the heart of my daily conviction! We, like our Lord, are called into a place of unchanging love. He loves us without fail. We are to love Him without fail, and we are to love others without fail…unchanging love, what an awesome and beautiful gift! Is this not that for which every soul of mankind longs? I believe it is…

For so long I could not grasp or settle over all the hurt and harm in this old world. I still don’t like it, how people hurt one another, the pain, suffering, but then I hear that gentle calling in my spirit from time to time when I’m faced with a difficult circumstance, riddled with hurt and confusion, “has your love wavered?” Oh how blessed I am to be able to answer honestly, “NO, my love has not dimmed!” My heart is as ever ready to love and forgive and hope as ever…I’ve grown, and so much of my growth has occurred through suffering, hardship, and heartache. I do believe the scripture that tells us “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.” Yes, even the most painful and difficult ones of all, especially the most painful and difficult ones of all!

How can I know without being tested, how can I be sure without first being tried? I well remember hearing the words of a song months ago that said, “refine me in Your Holy blaze, if that is what it takes to know You Lord.” I thought about that then and went on to review in my mind the many trials I’ve endured…refined by fire…if that’s what it takes, and I believe in so many cases, it is.

Let us face our trials knowing that what may come from them is a gift from our loving Lord who is able to bless and bring good, even beauty from ashes. May your heart be comforted as you read and know that you are not alone in your struggles. Each life has it’s own share of burden and heartache, and may we know that the rich goodness of unchanging love may carve out in each of us a joy beyond our imaginings in due time. Endure with love my friends, endure with love!

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