(Friends: I don't usually send out two messages in a day, but I feel compelled to do so with this tonight. And, thanks to so many of you who through the years have so exemplified to me the truth of this message. Glen).
"Old Scars, Fresh Wounds"
Somewhere as you read this, somebody just begins a long and difficult journey with which you are all too familiar. You bear scars etched upon your heart by the thorns along the path of this particular pain, whatever its nature and degree. The person new to the path, however, bleeds from the fresh wounds of a just saddened and broken heart. He or she may not make it to the place where you now reside. Indeed, no guarantees exist in this present life that ensure we will faithfully walk with our Lord through the valleys of challenge He allows or even determines us to travel. Thus, the Apostle Peter commands such devotion in the darkness, to which God's children will either respond in obedience, or not: "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (I Peter 4:19).
In the glory of our Lord's indwelling life as it resides in your heart, you play a role in whether your fellow traveler will "commit the keeping of their souls" to the "faithful Creator."
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (II Corinthians 1:3-4).
God does not desire that the comfort we receive from Him serve as merely still waters in our own hearts. He rather purposes that they serve as a wellspring for others. "He that believeth on Me, out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). Indeed, you may not know that brother or sister who presently weeps as you wept (and as you may still sometimes weep). You may never know them in this lifetime. You are well acquainted, however, with the sorrow and sadness that now walks with them as it walked with you. Thus, you can intelligently and with great empathy and sympathy pray for that one, or those ones (for there are always many who hurt as you have hurt, or as you still hurt). Moreover, one day in Heaven, that brother or sister may approach you on some shining street of gold so fine as to be transparent. "Do you remember praying for me?" they will ask. Perhaps we will not recall. "Oh yes you did, my brother (sister). One night you felt yet again that scar upon your heart, still tender after all that time. Our enemy, the now vanquished one, tempted you in that difficult hour to sink into yourself in pain and self pity. But you didn't do that, my dear one. No, you remembered the Lord whose sorrows became our salvation. You remembered that He lives and walks in you to birth the same kind of life He lived. So you prayed, 'Father, somebody, somewhere hurts just now like I have hurt, and like I still hurt sometimes. Help them, Father. Be for them what you've been for me." My brother (sister), our Father answered that prayer. He saw your tears fall even as your prayers ascended to Heaven. And I knew comfort in that hour, God's comfort for which He surely receives all the glory. But dear one, I don't know if I would have experienced such holy balm if your scars had not reminded you of the fresh wounds of somebody, somewhere - of me. No, I do not know what would have happened had you not prayed. But I do know what happened because you did."
Old scars. Fresh wounds. In the faithful, the Lord works through the former to provide hope, help, and even survival for those just possessed of the latter. Yes, somewhere as you read this, somebody…
"For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation."
(II Corinthians 1:5-6)
Weekly Memory Verse
But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.