"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:38

Posts tagged ‘mall-walker’

Walking Back Home

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Walking is my exercise of choice. I can walk alone, but I prefer to walk with a friend. I walk at the mall in winter, and I walk outside in summer.

Fortunately, there is a great subdivision across the street from my house with miles of walking paths that meander around a lake, pond, community garden, horse stable, school, park and beautiful homes. But, because I don’t have a map of the paths, and because there are so many of them, by the time my heart is in a good place (both physically and spiritually), I’m usually lost.

But, that’s OK; I know I won’t be lost for long, because wherever I am on those paths, I can see this water tower which is right across from my house. I know that if I can find my way to the tower, I can find my way home. As soon as I spot the tower, I know which way to walk to get home and find rest.

The other day I was chatting with a friend who had lost her way home spiritually. She started out walking with God, but then made a few turns here and there without paying much attention and then before she knew it, she had wandered away. It had been over a year since she’d gone to church, and she was homesick, alone, lonely, afraid of what the future might hold, and even more, of what it might not hold.

She needed a water tower! No, she needed a friend to point her to God because God is always there pointing the way home!

“This is what the Lord says, ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.’”– Jeremiah 6:16 NLT

Sometimes the old, godly way is simply returning to church. But, it’s hard to walk in alone, so my friend phoned a friend who lived near her and they went to church together last Sunday. Afterward, she told me, “I feel a lot more at ease today… like I have more direction… like comfort with the unknown.” She had returned home and found rest.

Going to church won’t make anyone a Christian, but Christians need to go to church. We need to worship with other believers. We need the spiritual communion and encouragement that comes from singing praises alongside others, and hearing God’s Word preached in community with others. This is not new.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  – Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

Is there an area of your life where you’ve taking baby steps away from the Lord? Away from rest? Look up! The Lord is waiting to show you the way back home.

Is there a friend whom you might lovingly invite to go to church with you?

Compelled to Share

Hello. My name is Marcia. I’m a mall-walker. I’m not alone. There are many of us; we arrive before the stores open and we barrel briskly down the mostly empty hallways for exercise. The mall is great for walking, there’s security, heat in winter, AC in summer, it never rains, you don’t have to jump out of the way of a bicycle, and you’re never too far from a bathroom.

A few months ago my friend, who’s also a mall-walker, and I were speeding along when a young woman came into view heading straight toward us pushing a custodial cart. She made eye contact and with a huge smile on her face, as if she knew us, she headed in our direction. The second she was close enough to speak, she said, “I just got promoted! I’ll never have to push this cart again!”

We clapped! We hugged her! We congratulated her! We had no idea who she was! After a minute we resumed our walk; smiling and filled with joy. What a moment. She had great news to share and it didn’t matter who she shared it with. It was as if she was compelled by some inner force to share. We were privileged to rejoice with her.

I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” When it came to the gospel, Paul was like this young woman, he had to share. He had to preach. He was compelled by God’s Holy Spirit to share what God had put in his heart and mind.

Do you remember what it was like to feel that way about Jesus?  Can you recall when your salvation was new and your joy was overflowing and you just had to tell everyone about this great new adventure you were on with God?

What happened?  Did the walk with God grow old?  Did it prove to be more difficult than you thought?  Did other people’s reaction drain the joy out of your testimony? Did church get boring? Did Bible study fall by the wayside?

King David prays in Psalm 51, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.” Is that your prayer? Should it be?

Perhaps we’ve lost our joy because we misunderstood our responsibility. We are not to save others, but to teach them God’s ways. We learn God’s ways by studying his word and applying it. We teach others when we tell them what God has done in our own lives.

That’s what the young woman did. She inadvertently shared with us what God had just done in her life! It gave us all joy. What has God done in your life? Who needs to hear it?

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