Tag Archives: comfort

Let His Love Dry Your Tears

Story of the Day for Tuesday March 20, 2012

Let His Love Dry Your Tears

                       The memory of my affliction and homelessness is bitterness and gall.  As I recall it over and over, my soul is downcast within me.   

                     Yet, I call this to mind and therefore have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, because his mercies never fail.  They are new every morning.

                                      Lamentations 3:19-23

When our children were little my wife always insisted I should take them to the clinic for immunization shots. I tried to convince her that children need a mother at such traumatic moments. Then I would appeal to her higher nature by telling her not to be such a ninny.

Yet, despite my patient reasoning and crystalline logic, she remained adamant that I take them for their shots.

The ninny.

So off I would drive to the clinic with a little child bundled in the car seat. When the nurse walked into the room with the syringe, she would sigh and apologize – as if this is all her fault. (Nurses hate this part of their duties.)

I would hold my little toddler on my lap — this cute little lump of sweetness and joy. How swiftly the fortunes of life were about to change.

What happened next is always the same. One moment they sit on my lap, secure and content. Then the needle. And then the piercing scream that echoes into the next county.  The cry that pierces a daddy’s heart.

Want to know what my children do next? They hug me. As they sob in pain they cling to me for comfort.

I cannot explain to them why I didn’t defend them – why I didn’t fight off the strange woman with the needle who attacked without provocation. I cannot explain that this present wound will pass, but the benefits will carry on. I cannot explain that I deliberately took them here because I love them dearly. My children are too young to understand. All I can do is hold them tight and tell them it will be okay.

Do you think there ever comes a time when God is willing to put you through  painful experiences because he loves you? Do you think there are times when he hurts you but can’t explain his reasons?

Do you think he wants you to cling tighter to him? That he wants to hold you tight and let you know it is going to be okay?

So what do you do when the tears come and life hurts so badly? Cling to your heavenly Father. Blow your nose. And let his love dry your tears.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Not Just the Kids

Story of the Day for Thursday February 9, 2012

Not Just the Kids

                     Even if my life is poured out like a sacrificial drink offering . . . I am happy and share my joy with all of you. 

                                                       Philippians 2:17

If you want to be happy, how do you intend to get there?  Or, let’s rephrase the question. What is the most reliable path to happiness: pleasure or sacrifice?

 

The question sounds silly until we think about it a while. But let’s imagine a football team has just won the Super Bowl. One offensive tackle has played the entire game. At the final whistle he’s dirty, bruised, and exhausted.

His replacement at right tackle never played a single down. No pain. Not even a grass stain on his uniform.

One offensive tackle finished the game in complete comfort; the other played his heart out and “left it all on the field.” Which right tackle do you think would be more exuberant at the end of the game? Which tackle would’ve wished to be in the other’s shoes?

 

Comfort brings pleasure and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Yet, there’s a world of difference between pleasure and joy.

The Bible says that Jesus, “for the joy set before him” endured the shame and agony of the cross. No one can call torture a pleasure. But when the Lord offers to sacrifice his own life to save ours, he can speak of joy.

 

Sacrifice sounds painful, but when it’s done for love it brings joy. The apostle Paul is writing from prison, yet he’s wildly happy, and thinks everyone else should be happy with him. Paul describes himself as being a sacrificial offering that he is giving for the sake of others. And the very thought of it makes him explode into joy.

 

I don’t know who came up with the idea, but it’s sheer brilliance. For over fifty years the Green Bay Packers have maintained a tradition during their summer training camps. When the players emerge from the locker room they have a short drive from the stadium to their practice facility.

But the players forego the drive. Instead, kids (ages 7-15) line up outside Lambeau Field with their bicycles. Each Packer picks a kid’s bike to ride to the practice field. If you’ve never seen a burly NFL football player riding a little kid’s bike, let me assure you it’s a comical sight.

No one on the team is forced to ride a bike to practice. If a player wants pleasure , he can certainly afford a comfortable car to drive.

But, if a professional football player isn’t convinced that sacrifice trumps pleasure he has made an inadvisable career choice. Maybe that helps explain why virtually all the players choose to ride a little kid’s bike down the streets of Green Bay.

And why it’s not just the kids who are beaming.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Play Like a Wild Man

Story of the Day for Thursday January 19, 2012

Play Like a Wild Man

                      . . . Don’t you know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 

                                                                                    Romans 2:4

The second half of the Rose Bowl had not yet begun before Roy Riegles sinned.

Riegles was an All-American defensive lineman for the University of California.  He recovered a fumble and started to run with the ball.  But, for reasons he could not later explain, he got turned around and started running in the wrong direction.

His coach, Nibs Price, could not believe what he was seeing!  His teammates shouted furiously for him to stop.  Benny Lom, a halfback, raced after him.  After a 65 yard scamper, Lom caught him on the one-yard line.  A few plays later, a punt from the end zone was blocked for a safety.

To say that Roy Riegles was discouraged in the locker room at half-time is to master the art of understatement.  He was completely distraught.  After his idiotic mistake, he had no intention of going back on the field for the second half.  When coach Price told him he would start the second half, Riegles objected, “Coach, I can’t do it.  I’ve ruined you.  I’ve ruined myself.  I’ve ruined the University of California.”  He was too ashamed to face the crowd.

 

Coach Price knew that Riegles did not need a good chewing out.  He needed comfort.  The coach encouraged him and sent him back into the game in the second half.

And Riegles played his heart out.  So much so, that, despite his huge mistake, he was later named to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

 

Roy Riegles is the poster boy for all of us who commit sins which let our friends and family down.  Which let ourselves down.  Which let our Lord down.

What do we need at times like these? A good chewing out?  You’ve experienced that, haven’t you?  And it has left you ever more depressed.

Jesus wants to put his arm around your shoulder, and let you know it’s going to be okay.

 

But here is the thing that seems hard to understand, at times.  If you comfort someone when they sin, and tell them Jesus forgives them, doesn’t that just give them an excuse to continue sinning?

Well, let me ask you this: Do you think coach Price’s comfort and encouragement at Roy Riegles blunder made him want to go out the second half and make more mistakes for his team?

No way.  The coach’s kindness lifted Riegles up, and he played like a wild man in the second half.

God’s kindness does the same thing.  It leads us to repentance.  It fires us up to play the second half with renewed passion and enthusiasm.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

My Wife the Ninny

Story of the Day for Friday September 30, 2011

In honor of the year anniversary of posting stories we are tonight repeating the very first Story of the Day posted on line.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  God remains the same…eternally!

My Wife the Ninny

 

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.   

Yet this I call to mind and therefore have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his mercies never fail.  They are new every morning. 

                                                             Lamentations 3:19-23

When our children were little my wife always insisted I should take them to the clinic for immunization shots.  I tried to convince her that children need a mother at such a traumatic moment.  And then I would appeal to her higher nature by telling her not to be such a ninny.

Yet, despite my patient reasoning and crystalline logic, she remains adamant that I take them for their shots.

The ninny.

So, off I drive to the clinic with a little child bundled in the car seat. When the nurse walks into the room with the syringe, she sighs and apologizes – as if this is all her fault. Nurses hate this part of their duties.

I hold my little toddler on my lap — this cute little lump of sweetness and joy.  How swiftly the fortunes of life are about to change.

What happens next is always the same.  One moment they sit on my lap, secure and content.  Then the needle. And then the piercing scream that echoes into the next county.  The cry that pierces a daddy’s heart.

Want to know what my children do next?  They hug me.  They cling to me for comfort as they sob in pain.

I cannot explain to them why I did not defend them – why I did not fight off the strange woman with the needle who attacked them without provocation.  I cannot explain that this present wound will pass, but the benefits will carry on.  I cannot explain that I deliberately took them here because I love them dearly.  My children are too young to understand.   All I can do is hold them tight and tell them it’s okay.

Do you think God would do the same thing to you?

Do you think he wants you to cling tighter to him?  That he wants to hold you tight and let you know it is going to be okay?

 

So what do you do when the tears come and life hurts so badly?  Cling to your heavenly Father. Blow your nose.  And let his love dry your tears.

                                                                       (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)