When strangers become family.

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
Who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping.
It will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
This past week I was privileged to make a quick trip to California. A beautiful place that I have never been.  I had some air miles Alan and I had been saving for an anniversary get away ” some day”.  Instead ,I used them to fly out with Abbey and Adam and help with Ava while they spoke at a high school and led worship at a church. It was a sweet place of refreshment. Not because we sat around a pool with a fruity drink in hand, but rather because I was blessed to see a different part of the body of Christ. ( even better) I met dear people who embraced us like family, who have been praying for us for a long time though they have never met us face to face. Who literally enveloped our hearts in such a sweet sincere love that we were no longer strangers but ” instant family” joined by God’s Spirit.

( Ava loves sound check, but mostly she loves being with her Mom and Dad.)
The Lord has been speaking to my heart  directing me to take certain steps. One of them being to be still and rest and he would begin connecting me to new parts of the body of Christ. This was a sweet confirmation to the beginning of that.
He has been reminding me that we are on a pilgrimage. A pilgrim – (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place.
What that means is that we are to remain moveable.  Our roots are not to grow down so deeply in anything ,but our Lord ; that they would tear; when we are pulled up and moved. This does not mean that we don’t invest where He has placed us right now. But, it does mean that we are ever listening to His voice. We are ready to go where He says go, to speak when He says speak or even to be silent when He says be silent. We should never be so mindful (worried) of what others think, or where we have grown comfortable that we cannot be obedient.
Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him
Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness. ( Colossians 2:7)
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, ( Hope is what we hold tightly to, not things or places or even people.)
For God can be trusted to keep His promise.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  ( Heb.10)
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.
( Ava helping sing “You Sustain Me”, during sound check)
The Lord knew that we would need one another for this journey. He has not asked us to walk it alone but rather to encourage one another, to “motivate” one another to love and good works. He told us to ” hold tightly” to the HOPE we have in Christ. Every sojourner needs a good staff for those steep places, that seem so difficult to scale. What better staff to be able to pick up and plant in the next hard place than HOPE. We should be taking it with us everywhere we go. With every place we plant that staff, let it be a declaration that we are moving forward…with HOPE! Hope is what precedes us and hope is what pulls us into that place of advancing. Our hope in Christ!
Our Hope is in Christ that He renews our strength. That even when we walk through the darkest valley we will not have to be afraid because He lights a lamp for us. The Lord our God lights up the darkness!
I don’t know what your “Valley of Weeping” looks like but the Lord says, when you  set your mind on the pilgrimage, HE will be your strength, and that “valley” will become a place of refreshing springs! It will be clothed in blessings and YOU will become stronger!
This world is not our home my friends, we are on a journey to a holy city, AND, there can be joy and strength for the journey when we fix our eyes on Him and come alongside each other. May He bless you on your journey.

Leave a Reply