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Forty Days of Praise: One Who Stands by Me

April 22, 2020

Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me. Psalm 73:23-24


Heartbeat of God, page 75


One of the greatest comforts in my personal walk with the Lord is knowing for certain that He is always with me. This truth came to life about a week ago during one of my quarantine days when I was curled up alone in my bed feeling quite pitiful due to a relational spat I was having with a very special someone. (I will not mention names, but bottom line, he took a drive and I had a big ugly cry). We can both chuckle about it now, but it was no laughing matter then. In that moment, I knew the Lord was with me, seeing my tears, understanding my heart.


In times like this, I have learned to take the ancient Bible stories for face value:


--God was with the people of Israel as they crossed the divided Red Sea.

--God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace.

--God was with David as he ran toward the battle line.

--And... God is with me today, right now, this very moment.


Do you believe the presence of the Lord is with you? This truth makes ALL the difference. It changes everything! Believe He is with you in the mighty moments and believe that He is with you in the darkest hour. We see this once again in scripture, when Paul who was put in prison because of the people's dissension; they were ready "to tear him to pieces." In his prison cell, "the night immediately following, the LORD STOOD AT HIS SIDE and said, "Take courage..." (Acts 23:10-11, emphasis mine).


Just the way the Lord stood by Paul and so many others in the Bible, he stands by you and me, telling each one of us, especially in this very strange and uncertain time, "Take courage." Believe that He is standing by you, supporting you, comforting you.


I choose to believe this truth in my own life-circumstances:


--I want to say to my quarantined mother-in-law who just lost her husband of 60 years, "Mev, take courage, He stands by you."

--I want to say to my daughter Emmy as she walks into every Covid room on her nursing floor at Vanderbilt, "Emmy Baxter, take courage, He stands by you."

--I want to say to my other daughter who sweetly, yet wearily walks into her three-month-old baby's room in the wee hours of the morning to nurse her (again), "Maggie Marie Gilmer, take courage, He stands by you."


And I want to say to you, my Soul Sister family as a whole, and then to these in particular, "Patricia Belcher Eastwood, Karin Vilanova, Lauren Livingston Lancaster, and Nikki Pettitt Castaldi, take courage, He stands by you."


You are not alone. The God that hung the sun, moon, and stars is in your midst. The Creator that knows your inner most fears is surrounding you with His love. The Savior that came out of the tomb is alive and well within you through His spirit. Talk to Him. Give Him all your worries. Ask for help. Thank Him for His strong support. Trust Him with all your heart, even if it's your darkest hour.


Yes, my friend, take courage today, because the Almighty God, who is also your closest companion, is standing in your midst.


For further reading: Daniel 3:23-25; Matthew 14:29-31; Acts 23:10-11; Psalm 16:8-9


God, You are the One Who Stands by Me!

Thank you for this incredible truth. Help us to believe your word that says "you will never leave us nor forsake us" (Deut. 31:6). Make us aware of your strong support today. We choose to praise you no matter the circumstances... because you are greater, wiser, and mightier than anything that can potentially turn us upside down. By your strong hand, set us upright, O Lord. Yes, sweet Savior, please stand by our side and continue to hold our sometimes feeble hands. Amen.



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