Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 9

Deuteronomy 33:1-29; Luke 13:1-21; Psalm 78:65-72; Proverbs 12:25

I had traveled many miles to see family and friends. I knew I would face sadness at my first destination, and would I even be welcomed? I was delayed at the rental car desk, traffic was terrible, and I felt my anxiety rising. Finally, I made it to my first stop where I did the grocery-shopping for dinner, cooked it and got the children to bed. The next morning I drove them to school and attended an all-day track and field event. 

That night I set out for my second destination and got lost in the dark trying to find my friends’ house. I called them, they helped me find their house, and when I arrived, how welcomed I felt! There were kind words and hugs. A room prepared for me. A sweet rose stood in a small vase beside the freshly made up bed.

A kind word cheered me up. My anxiety dissipated. Just as the Bible says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Pr. 12:25). I felt inordinately grateful to my friends for their kind words and their warm welcome. I slept well and we enjoyed time together in the morning.

In our other OT passage, Moses is speaking words of blessing to the tribes as he prepares to depart from them forever. He speaks words of kindness and truth, preparing them for what is ahead. They must have felt much more anxious than I did as they contemplated entering the Promised Land without their leader. They had never known life without Moses—how would they manage?

Listen to Moses’ reassuring words.

“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun....The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you....So Israel will live in safety alone; Jacob’s spring is secure in a land of grain and new wine where the heavens drop dew. Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places” (Dt. 33:26-29).

Aren’t those kind words?

And, in the NT, Jesus speaks the kindest of words to the woman bent over with a spirit for eighteen years, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (Lk. 13:12).

Lord, I thank you for my friends’ kind words to me when I needed them. Thank you for the truth of your Word. May I, too, speak kind words to others so that their hearts may cheered up.

- Nell Sunukjian

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