By Steven Halter
A while back my family was able to go on a long-awaited vacation. Unfortunately,
I wasn't able to go with them, because circumstances prevented me from going.
Still, it would be a blessing for them to go because my wife would be able to
see her family, and her parents would be able to see their daughter and granddaughter.
When the time came for them to go to the airport, I took my wife and daughter
there to see them off, and I didn't leave until their plane had left my sight.
Later, when I got home from work, our home seemed very different. It was
strangely quiet and empty I was alone.
Or was I?
You see, God
was right there with me. Jesus promised that He would not leave His followers
alone, but would send them the Holy Spirit.
"And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you
know him, for he lives with you and will be in you" (John 14: 16-17).
I really wasn't alone. The Spirit was there with me, ready to encourage and strengthen
Perhaps you are in a similar situation. Your spouse may have gone on
a business trip. Your children may have gone off to college. Your loved ones may
have passed on or moved away. Whatever the case may be, remember that God is with
you. The Holy Spirit is there to comfort you, uphold you, and strengthen you.
He will never leave you or forsake you. You will never be alone.
my family was away on the trip, I experienced the hand of God in another way.
For though I wasn't able to go away with my family, God was able to bring something
good out of a bad situation. God is wonderful and masterful at doing that.
we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have
been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
What God did is that
He redeemed the time. God showed me a number of things that I could do during
the time my family was away. I didn't need to feel lonely and spend my time lazily
about the house. There were many ways that He could make this both an enjoyable
and productive time for me.
If you are experiencing an occasion when loved
ones are away and you have extra time on your hands, there are a number of ways
that God can bless you too during this period. But you have to let Him bless you,
and you need to work along with Him.
First, remember that you are not alone.
God loves you, and He is with you in the person of the Holy Spirit. He will never
leave you or forsake you. He is there to counsel you, to comfort you, to strengthen
you, and to help you grow spiritually.
Next, make this an occasion to strengthen
your personal Devotions with the Lord. Spend more time reading and studying the
Bible. Reflect on what you read and let God show you how it applies to your life.
Let this be a time of refreshing and revitalizing for your soul. Worship God and
allow the Spirit to fill you afresh.
In addition to being blessed yourself,
let God speak to you about how you can be a blessing to others. Use your talents
and gifts in service to His kingdom. However God has gifted you, be faithful in
putting those gifts to work. Even if you feel that it is a small gift, you may
be amazed at how significant it can be to others.
"Therefore, as we have
opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the
family of believers" (Galatians 6:10).
Next, the greatest opportunity of
all, during this time or any time, is to share with others the good news concerning
the new life that is available through Jesus Christ. Let God lead you and empower
you by the Spirit that is in you, so you can proclaim to others how great and
wonderful our Savior is. Give them an occasion to believe on Jesus and receive
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most
of every opportunity" (Colossians 4:5).
Yes, we will have times when loved
ones and friends are away from us. On those occasions when you are in this position,
you can make the most of the time available. Whether you have a great amount of
time on your hands or just a little, let God redeem it. Take the opportunity to
draw closer to God. Let Him renew and refresh you. Then go out with the strength
of God and be a blessing to others. As you allow Him to lead you in the right
direction, He will be there with you to make the most of all of your opportunities.
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