However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].John 16:7
I saw a video clip, some time ago, of a man called Derek Redmond. He was a brilliant 400m athlete who had been identified as a potential candidate to win the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, but only 100m into his race, Derek tore his hamstring. He was in excruciating pain but tried to hop along to get to the finish line. Out of the stands an elderly man ran, jumped over the fence, and rushed towards him. It was his father. Derek’s father told his son that he had done so well, and that it would be okay to stop running, but Derek had tremendous grit, and was determined to finish his race.
What caught my attention in this story was his father’s response. He put his son’s arm around his neck and became a support for Derek to lean on and to help take the weight off his injured leg. Together Derek and his father kept moving forward. Needless to say, when father and son crossed the finish line, the Olympic stadium exploded with applause for this brave man and his father.
This story reminds me of another person who does exactly that and even more for us when we are ‘limping’ in our lives - the Holy Spirit. In John 16:7, He is described as the Comforter, Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener and Standby.
When Jesus was preparing His disciples for the fact that He would soon be crucified, resurrected and then returning to His Father in Heaven, He told them that He would not leave them as orphans, but would send them ‘another Helper’ (John 14:16-18). This meant they would never need to run their earthly race without support. I too am His disciple. This means that, when I need someone to encourage and comfort me, He is the One. When I need someone to speak up for me and to defend me, He is the One. When I need someone to help me to be strong, He is the one. For every situation and season in this life, He is the one.
How often do we battle along with some difficulty in our lives and try to lift our chin and be brave, only to find ourselves feeling completely overwhelmed by the weight of it? We try to cover up our hurts and wounds and wrap our own makeshift ‘bandages’ around them. And yet, all the while we have a Father, who did not leave us as orphans, but sent us a Helper, one who would lovingly catch us when we cannot walk another step. Deuteronomy 33:27 says, ‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.’
Although we have a Helper sent by our loving Heavenly Father, we need to choose to trust Him, and to make Him the place we find rest and strength. Isaiah 30:15 tells us that we may need to repent of some of the ways we have tried to do things in our own strength and in our own way, perhaps even disobeying what God warned us about: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”’
We do not need to keep limping along life without support. All we need to do is to recognise our Helper, lean on His Everlasting arms, and choose to trust Him to carry us to the finish line.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for reminding me of the Helper You sent us when You returned to the Father. Holy Spirit, please forgive me for looking for comfort and strength in things that are temporal. Thank You for reminding me of this truth - that You are my Comforter, Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener and Standby in every season of my life. I choose to trust You. Amen.
Today's Writer : Christel Baxter Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. She is married to Gary, who serves with her on the associate team. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.
Gifts To God That He Delights In
"Moreover because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that He delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be His and all things happen just as He decided long ago."
Ephesians 1:11, NLB
The Lord doesn’t want us to pretend any more, either to Him or to others. In His gentleness He wants us to realise the real worth He sets on us. As Jesus said `you are of more value than many sparrows, yet he takes care of them`.
We`re so valuable that we`ve become gifts to God, because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, in making us clean. How incredibly great is His power to help those who trust in Him. He knows and understands our troubles, and so He can change and restore the real `me` deep inside. We can be transparent before Him without fear, as His gentleness and love are so great and His presence that He puts within us is a guarantee that He will give us all that He promises.
And when He becomes that precious gift to us we realise that we`re His precious jewels, and our hearts begin to praise Him. This really delights and blesses Him. It says in Zephaniah 3:17 that it causes Him to sing over us with great rejoicing. This is God`s plan for His children. Although we`re weak, poor, and sinful, and we feel worthless, yet the truth is the Lord has made us strong, rich, clean, confident, beautiful, and genuine people.
`I will change your name,
you shall no longer be called, wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid.
I will change your name,
Your new name shall be confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one, faithfulness, friend of God, one who seeks my face` (D.J.Butler).
Paul`s prayer: `I pray that your hearts be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future He has called you to share. I want you to realise that God has been made rich because we who are Christ`s have been given to Him` (Ephesians 1:18).
Today's Writer : Pam Smith Pam Smith has a background in art and nursing, has a son and two daughters and six grandchildren. She has been a friend and helper of Ellel Ministries since l992, and has been involved with Healing Through Creativity Courses. As writer of the Shepherd Love Series, she has a passion for the comfort and encouragement that leads people towards enjoying abundant Life in Jesus.
Which Way Do I Go, Lord?
"And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left."
Isaiah 30: 21, (Amp)
It has been quite a time of readjustment for me recently. My husband died just over two years ago, after forty two years of marriage, and I know the Lord has a new direction for me. Very shortly after he died, I heard the Lord say in my spirit the words of Jeremiah 29:11: ‘For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome’, so I have been waiting – and waiting!
I don’t want to give the impression that I am doing nothing, or that I am running around in all directions looking to see what I should be doing. I am learning, again, that the Lord doesn’t work in a hurry and that His time scale isn’t the same as ours. Life would be so simple if He lit up a huge neon sign over the right pathway, but it seldom happens like that. What I have been doing is waiting, trying to be patient, pushing gently at a few doors to see if they will open and then waiting some more. Nobody has come to view the house and friends keep asking if I am worried about that, but I can honestly say that I am not. Why would I want to leave this beautiful house where I have lived for 30 years in idyllic surroundings? I know that when the time comes it will be a huge wrench, but that too is in the Lord’s hands.
Is it easy being in a sort of limbo? No, it isn’t, but I am beginning to sense that things aren’t going to remain like this for much longer and there is a feeling of gradual detachment as the roots are getting ready to be pulled up.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your plans are best and You know the right time to put them into action. Please help me to wait patiently for Your perfect timing and to be ready for the new things You are doing in my life. Thank You that I can wait in trust, knowing that You know what is right for me. Amen.
Today's Writer : Angela Weir Angela Weir has been associated with Ellel Ministries from the very beginning, first as an associate member of the ministry team and later as an associate teacher. She trained as an actress before moving to Cumbria, where she taught drama in a girls’ school. She now teaches and ministers at various Ellel Centres.
Today's Seed...The Repair Shop
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus, so after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
1 Peter 5:10, NLT
I enjoy watching a program on TV called ‘the Repair Shop’, where people bring along their treasured, but often battered, items to be repaired and brought back to life by master craftsmen. You see the most dilapidated items being brought in, but, in the craftsman’s hand, they are beautifully restored to their former glory. The process always seems to be one of stripping down, so that the restoration procedure can begin. It is painstaking and skilled work, and I’m sure it takes many hours of hidden work which we don’t see on screen, stripping, repairing, replacing and reassembling, before the hidden and distorted beauty is restored.
It reminds me of what God wants to do in each one of our lives, if we give Him permission. Many of the items brought to the repair shop have been hidden away in attics and drawers for years, and the owners have had to make a conscious decision to bring them to the restorer. Some are rather fearful of what the end result will be, if they are particularly treasured items.
How much more our Heavenly Father, the master craftsman, wants us to come to Him in His repair shop with all our brokenness, our damage, and our shame which we’ve kept hidden away! After years of heartbreak, hurt and pain, our shattered lives may feel broken into so many pieces that we’ve lost all hope of ever being restored.
I have seen many items on the programme arrive in a bag of bits and fragments, and watched how they are lovingly cleaned, glued and restored. When the work is finished you cannot even see where all the damage was, and there’s no trace of the ugly glue marks.
This is such a picture of how our loving Heavenly Father longs to restore us, however battered, crushed or damaged we may feel. Today, why not approach Him and give Him permission to heal any hurt and damaged places in your life and bring you back to the fullness of life that He desires for you? Perhaps you would like to pray the following prayer.
Prayer: I thank You that You are the Master Craftsman, the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. I release myself into Your loving arms today, for Your work of restoration in my life. Amen.
Today's Writer : Margaret Davies Margaret Davies is married to Trevor whom she met and married in Israel where she worked in various ministries for almost 10 years. They joined Ellel Ministries in Scotland in 2002 where they served for almost 13 years, and have just recently left the full time team at Blairmore House. They are presently living in a small village in North Essex, and Margaret enjoys baking, gardening and walking.
Today's Seed...The God Who Sees You
Driving along the highway, the following words on a huge billboard caught my attention: “We see you. We get you. We got you.” Thinking about this slogan, I realised that it describes what the Lord does for me. He sees me. He gets me. He’s got me! I am known by the One who created me!
Hagar uttered these words in the wilderness after she had run away from her mistress, Sarai, who had treated her so harshly that she couldn’t take it anymore. She was alone and pregnant with no one to turn to. Why would anyone even notice her – a servant? She must have felt completely destitute and heartbroken.
But then we read, in Genesis 16:7, that the angel of the Lord found her beside a spring of water along the road. The Lord saw her. He understood why she was in the wilderness all alone and He filled her with hope. He met her where she was at and in that moment, she knew that she was not alone. She knew that she belonged to the Lord and that He would care for her.
This gave her the courage to return to Sarai and submit to her authority. The Lord had given her a promise: “Then”, He added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count” (Genesis 16:10). Her focus shifted with this realisation, and she was no longer completely caught up in her difficult circumstances. She was no longer only a servant to Sarai. She belonged to the Lord God. Psalm 3:3, in the Amplified version, describes it so beautifully: ‘But You, O Lord, are a shield for me. My glory [and my honor], and the One who lifts my head’.
The Lord sees you too, wherever you may be in this season of your life. He understands you and makes sense of all the confusion going on in your heart, even when it feels as if no one else understands you. He gets you. And He has got you. ‘He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection’ (Psalms 91:4).
The moment we realise that we are not forgotten and completely alone is the moment when hope springs forth in the midst of our situation. It may be the slightest glimmer of hope, but it’s real and it’s from Him. It doesn’t necessarily mean that my circumstances will suddenly change, but I can lift my eyes and look to the Lord who is my Help and my Hope. His promises are my armour and protection against the enemy’s lies. He will direct my steps and show me the way forward. ‘God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (1 Corinthians 1:9, AMP).
Thank You, Jesus, that You see me. You get me and You have got me. You understand me and where I am at. To realise that I am known by You fills me with hope. Please show me the way forward and teach me how to hold on to Your promises as my armour and protection. Amen.