Friday, December 14, 2012

God draws near...

Barbara Francis, a staff member with Cru, shared this quote by Henri Nouwen in a devotional she sent out this week.  I saved it and thought I would share it we all mourn the heart wrenching reality of what happened in Connecticut today. 

Pain suffered alone feels very different from pain suffered alongside another.
Even when pain stays, we know how great the difference is if another draws close,
if another shares with us in it.
This kind of comfort comes most fully and powerfully visible in the Incarnation,
wherein God comes into our midst—into our lives—to remind us,
“I am with you at all times and in all places.”

In Christ, God draws near us amid our sufferings—
the pain of infants or adolescents,
the hurts of young people or the aged,
the grief of the unemployed
or the suddenly single person.
There is not human suffering that has not in some way been a part of God’s experience.
That is the great and wonderful mystery of God becoming flesh to live among us.
God becomes a part of our mourning.

-Henri Nouwen

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas: absolute proof that God fulfills his promises

My heart feels so heavy tonight.

Too many people I love are walking through pain...
or are grappling with loss...
or waiting on test results...
or are simply struggling.

I underlined this quote last year, and I read it again recently.  I appreciated it and wanted to share it with you.  I hope it encourages you. 

What God did when he sent his Son into the world is an absolute guarantee that he will do everything he has ever promised to do.  Look at it in personal sense:  "All things work together for good to them that love God" - that is a promise "to them who are the called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28, KJV)."  "But how can I know that is true for me?" asks someone.  The answer is the incarnation.  God has given the final proof that all his promises are sure, that he is faithful to everything he has ever said.  So that promise is sure for you.  Whatever your state or condition may be, whatever may happen to you, he has said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee (Heb 13:5, KJV)" - and he will not.  He has said so, and we have absolute proof that he fulfills his promises.  He does not always do it immediately in the way that we think.  No, no!  But he does it!  And he will never fail to do it.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones