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Stop Right Now

Daily Reading: Colossians 4

 

Remember my chains... (Colossians 4.18)

 

Devotional Thought: When we are hurting, it's easy to feel forgotten.  As a prisoner, Paul spent long and lonely days.  I'm sure that he often wondered if anybody remembered him.

 

It's easy to forget the suffering of others.  We sympathize with them when we are in their presence, and we have every intention of helping them carry their burden by praying for them and encouraging them.  But again, when we get away from the "moment" and when life presses in on us, we forget. 

 

Lana and I personally journeyed through 7 months of uncertainty without work and salary, wanting desperately to receive a call to a church.  Our kids kept in touch, remembering our "chains."  We also had a wonderful pastor who checked on us regularly.  We had close friends and neighbors who gave us encouragement.  In spite of all that, there were "silent times" when we didn't hear anything from anybody.  In those times, we had to intentionally remind ourselves that others cared.  That experience helps me to remember to encourage pastors who are going through what we went through... to let them know that they are not forgotten. 

 

The best way to remember the "chains" of others is to put their names in a prominent place on your prayer list.  When you see them you will of course remember to pray for them, but also God will prompt you to encourage them with a note, an email, a phone call, a text.  Stop right where you are in your prayer and do so, or write yourself a note to do so.  God uses those communications to encourage the hearts of those in "chains."

 

Who should you stop and call right now? Stop right now and do it!

 

Prayer: Lord, even you felt the sting of doubt when you asked your disciples, "Will you go away also?"  Help me to remember the forgotten and to reach out with comfort and encouragement.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 22.1-5

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

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