Sunday July 21, 2019 – An outrigger for those in need around you

Psalm 34:18  The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

In church we sang a song that had a verse that really touched me.  It spoke of the tired and weary, the lost and lonely, and the brokenhearted.  All of us have probably experienced all these things at one time or another.  Hopefully in those times, we have experienced the closeness of the Lord and been blessed by His love and presence.  But each of these can be formidable things to deal with.

The thing that I was particularly struck by was the thought of all those around us, who may or may not know Jesus, who are experiencing one or more of these things.  Take a moment to think of those in your circle of relationships.  Are there any who are tired and weary?  I don’t think this is talking about physical tiredness that comes from working hard or doing something physically demanding.  It seems that it is referring to a weariness of spirit, which would be similar to one being lost or lonely, or brokenhearted.  Typically, these conditions come with discouragement.

An illustration that has really been helpful to me is that of an outrigger on a canoe.  It is there to stabilize the canoe in turbulent water.  I’ve found that there are times when we’re able to come along side of a friend or coworker who’s going through difficulties and the Lord enables us to function like an outrigger on their canoe as they go through ‘whitewater’ in their life.  We’re there to encourage; pray with them; listen to them; give help and advice if asked; possibly share our faith.  The Lord gives us the opportunity to help them keep their “canoe” from tipping over.  We’re there to help them get through the difficulties.  It’s all about loving them.

It’s not about evangelizing – it’s about being the fragrance of Christ.  It’s about being salt and light.  It’s about loving those around us – being able to touch them with the love of God.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted – and sometimes He wants us to be the ones, through whom, they experience Him.

About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Four years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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