God Is Always With Us
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)
Have you ever been lost? Isn't it a scary feeling?
When Philip was five, he lived on a ranch in California. Philip loved riding around the ranch with his dad, who oversaw the care of the cattle and sheep. He almost always had another companion with him--his dog, Rusty. Rusty was a German shepherd and a "working dog" on the ranch. Philip's dad would give Rusty specific commands, and Rusty would help him herd the cattle and sheep. But whenever Rusty wasn't needed on the ranch, he could always be found at Philip's side. Rusty was very protective of the boy. If Rusty ever sensed that something was threatening Philip, he would get in front of him and not move until everything was ok.
One day, Philip was with his parents on a part of the ranch with which he was unfamiliar. Somehow, he wandered away from his parents, so far away that he finally couldn't find the way back to the family car. Fortunately, Rusty was with Philip when he got lost. Although Philip didn't realize it as he was trying to find his way back to his family, Rusty had been leading him in the right direction, almost like he was herding lost sheep or cattle. Eventually, Philip became very tired and had to sit down on the ground. When his parents found him, it was two hours later, and Rusty was almost covering Philip. Philip did not know where he was, but it was a comfort to be able to put his arms around his dog and know that Rusty would never leave him there alone.
Do you ever find yourself in situations that make you feel afraid or confused? Perhaps you have felt lonely, or even lost. Psalm 23:4 assures believers that no matter where they go or what they have to face, they can depend on God. God stays continually with those who trust Him and obey Him. He gives comfort and guidance. He is there anytime to hear those who call upon Him for help. Are you dealing with really hard things right now? You do not have to deal with them all by yourself. You can count on God, anytime and anywhere.
God is always present to help, guide, and protect me in any situation.
» When I am in the middle of a difficult time, do I think biblically about God's character and remember to call on Him for help?
» What other verses in God's Word help me to know that I can turn to God at any time and anywhere?
Truth In Real Life
Ann Hasseltine Judson
“Direct me in Thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work, or place of labor. Only let me know Thy will, and I will readily comply.”
Born on December 22, 1789, Ann Hasseltine was just an ordinary girl who became a remarkable wife, mother, teacher, translator, and the first woman American missionary to travel outside of the country.
Ann was saved at age 16. During her twenties, she met a man studying missions at a seminary near her home. His name was Adoniram Judson. Two years later, they were married, and the day after their wedding, they left for the mission field of India.
Aside from her husband, Ann was alone in a sense on the mission field. She lived in India and then Burma with no family, no friends, and no children. A baby boy was eventually born to her, but just eight months later, little Roger William Judson died of terrible cholera. Ann did not complain.
Adorinam Judson was once accused of being a spy and was put in “death prison.” Despite her own illness at the time, Ann continued to take care of him, taking him food every day. Her husband likely would have died without her faithfulness in caring for him. Imagine the souls that never would have been saved! 63 churches and 7,000 converts might have reason to be grateful to God for giving Judson such a self-sacrificing, servant-hearted wife.
Judson recovered for a time and got to go home, but Ann never got truly well again. She died on the mission field. When Adoniram Judson had originally written to Ann’s father to request her hand in marriage, he asked Mr. Hasseltine whether he could be willing to part with his daughter forever. In those days, travel was by sea-voyage, so it was awfully limited, long-lasting, and expensive. Missionaries did not come home every four years or so for a break. And life overseas was so physically dangerous that usually, a commitment to missions was a lifetime commitment – many missionaries never returned home alive from the field. By God’s grace, Mr. Hasseltine was able to say “yes,” and Ann also willingly gave the rest of her life to Jesus Christ, her husband, and to spreading the Gospel for God’s glory.
What are you willing to sacrifice for Christ? What items or people do you hold so dear that you would hesitate before trusting and obeying God’s leading for your life? If Jesus Christ truly is our greatest possession, sharing Him with the lost should be our greatest joy.
1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.