When I heard the story, I shuddered. A man unconscious and trapped in his pick-up truck was on fire. He was being burned alive. A stranger arrives on the scene. Seemingly, with no regard for his own safety, he opens the driver’s door and pulls the man out, burning himself in the process.
The man who was burning in the driver’s seat was once a little boy in my mother’s children’s church. He and his siblings were always the cutest things, capturing our hearts, stirring a deep love within our own hearts that remains to this day. Therefore, with a concerned love for Jim, his wife and children, and his extended family and friends, I ask that those of you reading this would take a moment to pray for Jim.
He is in a specialized burns unit. Pain is intense. Skin grafting and therapy will take months of endurance. I’m so thankful to be able to say that his family know the strength that only God can give. They are clinging to it with a strong faith. Please pray for them that their faith does not waver, that they sense the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit with them, comforting them in all their questioning and fearful moments.
Friends have rallied around them, writing words of encouragements with reminders of God’s love for them and offering practical helps. Being brothers and sisters in God’s Kingdom is a beautiful thing. It makes us family. Family helps us to remember to take Father’s own strength when we know we are weak. Family reminds us to keep on clinging to the hope that Father promises, to bask in God’s peace that surprisingly comes in the direst of situations.
We could all tell wonderful stories of how friends have comforted us and stirred courage within to go on when we thought we couldn’t take another step. Friends are so important to our effective walk with God because they remind us of Father’s promises of His presence always with us, of His love that never fails, of His strength that holds us in our weakness.
The Apostle Peter understood the great effectiveness of the encouragement that comes from friends. That is why he wrote the following:
“I will always remind you of these things — even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live.” II Peter 1:12-13
Thank you, Father, for our praying friends.