Time For God: May 30

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: 2 Timothy 4:16-17
All forsook me … But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Reflect:
Christmas day and brunch was done. Used gift-wrap lay across the carpet—family presents were now exchanged. Chocolate wrappers and orange peel joined empty nut containers as evidence of snacks enjoyed. Now it was time for some exercise.

We climbed a local hill. On a bench overlooking the Vancouver trees, sat an older woman, Doreen. After a jovial Merry Christmas we started to chat. Turns out she grew up in the same part of London where we had once lived. She spoke of familiar landmarks we knew well. She recalled the stores where we had regularly shopped.    

Upon asking how she was planning to spend her Christmas Day, she mentioned that her only son had flown to Palm Springs for the holidays. She would be alone. What about Christmas dinner? Yes, she would be going home now to cook …liver and onions. She would dine alone. Wishing her well, we turned to leave. My daughter pinned me with her eyes. Dad! That’s all she needed to say. I turned back, chagrined.

After a brief back-and-forth, Doreen agreed to walk down the hill and spend the day with us. When we entered our home we took her overcoat. Beneath it, Doreen wore her very best clothes. All dressed up with nowhere to go she would have spent her Christmas by herself. As she waited for dinner she engaged Liza in conversation.

You’ll never guess what happened to me today as I was walking in the park… She told Liza about meeting our family. Liza, a Zambian woman, smiled, You’ll never guess what happened to me. I met them at a dinner for the homeless and this is my first time here. Two people, otherwise alone, sat as friends to celebrate the birth of the Child—God with Us. He is One who promises never to abandon us. We are never truly alone.

In a hostile world, the Apostle stood alone. Yet God stood with him, enabling him to preach to the Gentiles. Paul says, I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. Was the lion the Emperor Nero, Amphitheatre lions, or other extreme dangers? God stayed with him always. Paul was never truly alone—even when friends abandoned him.

God gives strength as you face your loneliest days—illness, grief, hardship, and loss. They are not easy to endure. With God all things are possible. He never lets you go.

Consider:
When has God called you to stand alone? How does He continue to stand with you?
 
Pray:
Lord, let me feel Your constant presence, today. Embrace me with our love. Amen
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