2016: Page 289

Page 289 was a restful day to relax, unwind, and recharge.  After sleeping in, my morning was a mix of computer games, reflecting on the past week, and doing some follow-up correspondence in some ongoing conversations.  As noon approached, it was time to fire up the pellet grill for the traditional Saturday bacon cheeseburgers.  After lunch it was time to gather up some food and lawn chairs then head down to Hoffman Lake for an afternoon cookout/picnic with some friends from church.  

The afternoon was absolutely beautiful for an outdoor event and I managed a few photos of the surrounding scenery.  The puffy clouds against the bright blue sky looked like you should be able to reach out and touch them.  The fish swimming in the channel next to the house looked like you could reach into the water and come up with dinner if you wanted to.  The areas of water sheltered from the afternoon breeze were so calm the reflections were as clear as the real things.  But better than all of that was the beauty of the people gathered to enjoy an afternoon together.  

As I sit down to write today’s page, I think about the events of the day.  One of this morning’s online conversations included the discovery of some similarities even in the midst of different circumstances.  It helped me put words to a belief I have often taught about how God uses our life experiences to prepare us to help others through theirs.  The words that came to mind this morning were, “One thing I’ve discovered is that while each person’s life journey is unique, the individual components of it are more common than we typically imagine.”  While our particular arrangement of life experiences is unique to us, the individual parts are not.  When we share from our life, particularly the difficult times that God has brought us through, we can help others have hope that their trying times are not permanent.  When we become reachable in a way that people can identify with us, the reflection of Christ we present helps them to see the real thing and how He can make a difference in their life.  The prince of this world will throw everything he can at us in an attempt to separate us from our pursuit of God.  He uses confusion, deceit, and distractions to isolate us and convince us that no one in heaven or on earth understands what we’re going through.  But the truth is that we have Jesus who has been tempted in every way that we are, yet without sin.  We also have one another and with there being “nothing new under the sun”, someone has been through what we’re in the midst of.  God says that we are comforted in out times of trials in order that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

I pray that you and I would be authentic and transparent in ways that are beneficial to us and to those watching and listening.  I pray that we would learn to support and encourage one another because we have received support and encouragement from our relationship with Jesus.  I pray that we would be patient with those who struggle, just as God has been patient with us.  I pray that we would not become victims of the enemy’s divisive lies that attempt to separate us from God and one another.

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