Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”
Our Bible verse for today: “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Take refuge in Him.”
One of the first new friends Linda and I had when we became Christians was an elderly woman by the name of Phyllis Forte. She was the first one to greet us the day we visited Hilltop Baptist Church and you would have thought we were her long-lost grandchildren. She smiled, gave us big hugs, told us how glad she was that we were there, and when the service was over, she insisted we had to come back. We did, and every time we walked in Phyllis made the same big deal about it.
Fast-forward about three years. We are still at Hilltop Baptist Church and I am beginning my career in pastoral ministry – serving now as the part-time minister of education and beginning to do some preaching. I have also started in seminary. Phyllis is now a shut-in. Her diabetes has progressed and she has had toes amputated, then a foot, then a leg, and so on. Now she can’t get out of the house, so I go to see her. Sometimes we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together, just me and her at her kitchen table.
Phyllis is close to dying but aside from that, nothing has changed. She is still the happy, joyful, and outgoing person she always was. She still smiles and hugs, she still makes me feel like I’m her favorite grandson, and she still loves to talk about Jesus.
When a Christian has learned to lean on the Lord and to draw their daily strength and joy from Him, there’s something about them that seems to come from a different dimension. There’s a focus on things unseen, a reliance on a power that is other-worldly, and there is a deep well of joy that can only come from the Lord – all of this regardless of the circumstances in their life.
Psalm 46:1 assures us that God will be our source of refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble. My friend Phyllis was so physically incapacitated that she couldn’t even stand up, but that didn’t stop her from dancing. Sometimes she waltzed (she was very graceful in her manner); sometimes she jitterbugged (she could be kind of sassy with just the right amount of attitude); and often she did the Cha-Cha (she could be funny and irreverent).
Phyllis trusted in the Lord. She drew her strength and peace and comfort from Him and she refused to give-in to despair. Despite her physical limitations and her many challenges Phyllis never stopped dancing, and I hope you won’t either.