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Stay Close to the Lord

Each year vacation ends with a pocketful of stories to tell! Every family has an experience or a mishap that lives through the ages and greets new family additions as part of the folklore of summer days. I would like to share one of our vacation stories with you.

Our destination was St. Augustine Beach, Florida. We were looking forward to the neat places to visit in America’s oldest city, the beach, the lighthouse, the pools, and the Atlantic seafood. After a busy morning we lunched and settled in for some rest before the evening activities began. After a short break I decided to go for a stroll along the beach. I invited Larry, Sam, and Jamie to go with me and Sam, our oldest took me up on it. We made our way down the winding condo paths and quickly saw the magnificent east coast. Sam and I laughed and talked as we gingerly enjoyed vacation time.

As we were walking about a half mile from the condo, I stopped and told Sam, “I hear something”. I’m sure he thought me crazy as seagulls were squawking, dogs were barking, the surf was roaring, and families were laughing. But I thought I faintly hear, “Mom”! I turned in the direction of the almost inaudible cry and I recognized the outline of my son Jamie. He had decided to join us. However, he was bending over and seemed to be in pain. Sam and I began to run toward him as we saw others on the beach approaching him. When we got to Jamie, we discovered he had part of a large crab claw imbedded in his large toe. Because of the jagged edge, removing it was impossible without the help of a doctor. We spent the night in the emergency room and added surgery to our vacation memories. Jamie was courageous and he got a lot of attention with his huge bandage and flip-flops.

I have thought often of the miracle of hearing that faint call for help. If Jamie had been close to me, walking with me as Sam was, it would have been easy to hear his cry. I am reminded of the importance of always walking close to the Lord. When we are near to him, it is easy for him to help us in time of troubles.

Psalms 73:28. “But as for me, it is good to draw near to God. I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may proclaim all Your works.”

Hebrews 10:22 NLT, “Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water”

God is always listening for our cries for help. Our responsibility is to stay close enough for him to easily hear and get to us.

One of my favorite hymns “Trust and Obey” by John H. Sammis, 1887, expresses it perfectly.

“When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain: Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies, But His smile quickly drives it away; Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear, Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, But our toil He doth richly repay; Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross, But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love Until all on the altar we lay; For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows, Are for them who will trust and obey. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet, Or we’ll walk by His side in the way; What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey.”

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