1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for the daughters: (BUT) but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
Oh Lord Our God, show “US”, please, how to encourage ourselves in the Lord, as your servant David did.
Finding myself in this greatly distressed place one early summer evening, I went to a city park. This park was bordered by very large old Chinese elm trees. One such tree was also right next to a picnic table which I was sitting on. I had my Bible with me and opened to John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth…” I began to think about what this verse meant to me. “For God so loved Patty, that He gave His only begotten Son, that if Patty believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Really, I mean really, Lord?
Right about this time, a leaf fell on my Bible from the giant tree next to me. Chinese elm leaves are tiny, about as big as my thumb nail. I laid back on the table and stared at this enormous tree. Trying to comprehend how many leaves could be on it; I thought of my job at work. I sorted mail for bulk mailings and put them in bundles in zip code order. It was tedious at times, and often boring. The Lord knew how I liked this part of my job the least. I wanted to express my love to Him, as I pondered His love for me. I thought of an excellent idea. I said, “Lord, do you see all the leaves on this big old tree branch here? Well, if I could, I would count, and bundle all of these leaves, just to show you how much I love you.”
Boy, did I feel proud of myself. What a creative way to say, I love you, to Him. And I came up with it all on my own. I leaned back on the table and just reveled in my own imagination. As I lay there several minutes, I felt a quiet, a peace, a serenity that I hadn’t known before. Yes, even though I was puffed up inside.
Suddenly, still staring up at this large tree, these words came into my mind.
“ALL THE LEAVES, ON ALL THE TREES, IN ALL THE WORLD, CANNOT COMPARE WITH THE LOVE I HAVE FOR YOU”.
What was that?
I sat up and looked around. How could this be? I looked around the park. There were at least 30 or 40 of these trees in this park. WHOA, that’s a lot of leaves, that’s a lot of love. Then the thought came to me, this is only one park, think of all the parks in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the United States, All the world, with All their leaves. Then, I thought: What about a jungle, a forest, All the jungles, All the forests! I laid back on the table – paralyzed. How can anyone LOVE that much. Is that much Love possible from one person. We’re talking about GOD here! This whole matter pressed down on me, until I could not hardly breathe.
And, by the way, who do you think gave you the idea to express your love this way, anyway? John 15:5b …for without me ye can do nothing.
Now we’re talking …
Isa. 40:29 “He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”
Isa. 41:13-14 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou WORM Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
I was so excited and filled with Joy. I decided to go up to the church to pray and worship Him. When I arrived, there was a lady there who I was not very fond of. She was a sort of chatter box, and it was difficult to get away from her. She came over to me and I couldn’t believe what I said to her. I asked her to go out for a coffee and a piece of pie. Of course she accepted. And for the next hour and a half we sat together discussing her problems and the love of God.
That had to be one of the best days of my life. I didn’t start out right, but His Word is full of ways to encourage ourselves. But not for us alone. His work is done through us, if we can get our eyes off of ourselves, and on Him. Then He fills us for others. I know the lady was blessed after our fellowship over coffee, and I found a new friend in Jesus that night. Praise His Holy Name.
Oh, and by the way, He loves YOU that much as well!
About This Guest Author:
Patty Shively is a lovely Christian lady and she never hides that fact. When you talk with Patty it is easy to see her love for the Lord and His word. Her every day conversation reminds us all of how important it is to hide God’s word in our heart so that when we need it we can recall it for the situation at hand. Patty is married to a fine Christian man and they have one daughter and several grand children. Patty is active in the ministries at her local church and often invites others to “come to church”. Patty’s gifts of evangelism, teaching and hospitality are evident in how she spends her time “loving on” just about every one she meets. Christianity Every Day is happy to have Patty as a guest contributor.
Chinese elm by Will Cook at Duke.edu
Worm Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net