Coming Along Side

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Posted by Lezlie Winberry

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What’s on my heart this week isn’t what I intended to write about. I wanted to tell you that the word pilgrim is only used two times in the Bible, both in the New Testament; pilgrimage is used three times and only in the Old Testament. The root word for pilgrim means to “come along side; resident foreigner.” Our forefathers took a risk coming to this foreign land and many of them were as those listed in Hebrew’s “hall of faith” chapter. “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims, exiles, on the earth.” (Ch.11:13)
            Instead, my thoughts have been on my six-month-old granddaughter who was admitted to the hospital and hooked up to oxygen and IVs last week. Tests were run, but nothing had been determined. My son and his wife took up “residence as foreigners in a cold and sterile place” in order to come along side their daughter. They don’t know how much longer they’ll have to be there, but again, I think of the saint in Hebrew 11:9 who “By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise.” My son's family has been given that promise.
            Jeremiah speaks further about it in 29:11, “ ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ ”
            My son has also been given the promise that God will never leave nor forsake him. God is right there, along side Ryan’s pilgrimage with his daughter. I’m thankful it’s not the same journey God took me on concerning my own daughter who has lived in heaven since she was two.           
            While we are all pilgrims sojourning in this fallen world of disease and brokenness, we are not without promises. One of the most powerful tools we have to aid us during our earthly trek is stated at the beginning of this devotion: Thy statues are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or for a given reason. Celebrate now with songs of thanksgiving for the days of your life here, even as aliens and strangers. “Sing to the LORD a new song.” (Psalm 96:1)
           

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