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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Learning to Lean - Redemptive Pain 

July 23

(Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; {6} in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

(Psalm 23:1-6 NIV) "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. {2} He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, {3} he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. {4} Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. {5} You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. {6} Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

(2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, {4} who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. {5} For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. {6} If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. {7} And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

When life comes apart at the seams, those people who have been through the storm often excel at coming alongside of us. Those who have endured life's crushing blows often become the best healers. Those who’ve walked through the fire become God’s greatest comforters -- people whose mere presence on the scene gives peace and hope. God never wastes an experience, but instead, redeems our darkest moments, changing them into light giving wisdom and empathy. Tough times also force us to rely on God. God seldom takes us around the valley of the shadow of death. Instead, He walks us right through the middle of it. He is with us, but we have to do the walking. When we finally come to the end of ourselves, we can finally come to the beginning of God. And when we hit what feels like the bottom, we have more than likely landed right in the palm of God's hand. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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