The God of Our Refuge and Encouragement

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

This week has been a week of distractions for me. I’ve been praying and trying to figure out what to write about but nothing seemed to come to mind. One of my “distractions” this week revolved around some injuries I sustained due to a mishap with my bicycle. We don’t always get along, my bike and me. One night coming back from prayer meeting, my bike and I had a disagreement about how hard to hit the bakes and my bike decided to show me a lesson and throw me off. I was slightly injured but nothing too bad. But the incident showed me that my body is older than my mind allows me to think it is, and I found myself yearning for my younger days. It was a bid discouraging.

Then at work on Friday, one of our leaders sent out an email with the below devotional. I read it and thought, “how timely. It was a good reminder for me at least, to keep looking forward. In Philippians 3:12-16 Paul talks about what has become known by some as a “holy dissatisfaction” with where he was with the LORD. He was always growing, always reaching and always striving to move forward. That is how I want to be at this point in my life. I thought I would share the devotional with you today along with another interesting thing that happened to me recently. I hope they are an encouragement to you in your daily walk with the Lord, whether you are young or old. He indeed is our refuge and encouragement. First, below is the devotional I mentioned:

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

Are the best days of your life behind or in front of you? Our outlook on life—and our answer to that question—can change with time. When we’re younger, we look ahead, wanting to grow up. And once we’ve grown older, we yearn for the past, wanting to be young again. But when we walk with God, whatever our age, the best is yet to come! Over the course of his long life, Moses witnessed the amazing things God did, and many of those amazing things happened when he was no longer a young man. Moses was 80 years old when he confronted Pharaoh and saw God miraculously set His people free from slavery (Exodus 3–13). Moses saw the Red Sea part, saw manna fall from heaven, and even spoke with God “face to face” (14:21; 16:4; 33:11). Throughout his life, Moses lived expectantly, looking ahead to what God would do (Hebrews 11:24–27). He was 120 years old in his final year of life on this earth, and even then he understood that his life with God was just getting started and that he would never see an end to God’s greatness and love. Regardless of our age, “the eternal God is [our] refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27) that faithfully carry us into His joy each day.

O Lord my God, I praise You for all You have done in the past. I look forward with thankfulness for all You will do in the future. And I thank You for today and all Your blessings.

“When we walk with God, the best is yet to come.”

Insight:  Although Moses walked with God, he wasn’t perfect. In response to the grumbling Israelites, he got angry and acted in disobedience. Instead of speaking to the rock, he struck it. This impulsive act called attention to him rather than to God, and he lost his opportunity to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 20:1–12). ”

The second thing i’d like to share is something that the Lord did just to encourage me. I am beginning to see that sometimes, God does small things that are just for us. Our problem is that we don’t always have eyes to see them. These small things may not mean anything to others, but God does it just for you and me. Allow me to explain.

I believe it was August 22nd and I was driving to re:generation as usual on a Monday evening. I wasn’t despondent or even discouraged necessarily, but praying (complaining, really) on my way to the meeting about writing these blog posts. I was thinking things like, “I’ve been writing these a long time now and I’m running out of ideas. Maybe I need to take a break.” And, “is it really worth it?” I walked into the meeting feeling a little sorry for myself. I came in and sat in my usual area by myself. Soon a lady came up to me and thanked me for writing them and said they were really meaningful and helpful to her. Then a few minutes later, another lady came up and said something similar. I sat there thanking God for showing this to me on the very day I was struggling with writing these blog posts! Just a small thing, but I knew God was in it.

Something else happened about the same thing today. I went to Walmart as usual for a Saturday morning. I usually run into a nice lady named Tana there. I think you from Stonepoint know her. Tana is in my Journey Group and it’s fun to run into her, like I sometimes do on Saturdays. Anyway, I was walking up to the checkout counter thinking that I missed her today. I turned a corner to get in line, at the checkout counter and there was Tana, just ahead of me. Tana has been having back problems and recently told me she was trying out a new kind of chiropractic care in Forney. As we talked we discovered that it was the same place I just went through a month ago. I told her about my experience and a little about the Chiropractor who is a 29 year old kid (as we called him) and was a Christian.

As we were standing in line I asked her about it and she said as she was talking with the chiropractor, she mentioned that she was from Stonepoint. Tana asked him if he knew me and he said yes, and asked Tana if knew that I wrote blog posts for the church. I found that really amazing as well as amusing! Tana said that she did know that and the chiropractor said that he reads them all the time and enjoys them. I don’t know about you, but I found the whole story quite amazing!!

Please know that I am in no way talking about the blog posts themselves. I’m not looking for recognition or anything else like that. I write these as a service to God and Stonepoint. What amazes me is that God does so much more behind the scenes than we can imagine. Even in small things like I mention here. Yes, there is work involved in any service for the Lord. But we should never take it for granted or think of it as just something we have to do.

We need to keep 1 Corinthians 15:58 in mind, “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work in the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Friends, God is our refuge, our strength and our encouragement.

But even if He seem silent at times, please know that our service for the Lord is always accomplishing what He wants. Our part is just to do our service out of love for Him and leave the results to God. He will use our service to His glory. Be encouraged!!!

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