Darkness Is My Friend

“You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend.” Psalm 88:18

He sat in a chair not ten feet from his little son’s casket. But he would not look up.

People bent over to offer words of sympathy. But he would not look up.

Just days before, his eyes had sparkled as he held the child at a family gathering. Now, the light has gone away from his eyes. Only the darkness of grief was left. It would stay with him for a long time.

Shadows of that darkness were still there on the day he died.

The Fog of War

“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” Mark 16:8

We wonder how this could happen. What were they thinking? What was wrong with them?

Hadn’t they heard the angel say that Jesus had risen from the dead? Didn’t they realize that this was Easter—a day that would be greeted with joy by millions for thousands of years?

The House of Bread

"Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried." Ruth 1:16,17

As we turn the pages of Holy Writ past the turbulent and bloody times covered in the Book of Judges, our attention is directed to a small town that had been known as Ephratha. It became better known as Bethlehem— which translated, is, the House of Bread.

Ironically, the day came when the House of Bread ran out of bread. There was a famine in the land.

Friends of Futility

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.’” Haggai 1:5,6

The wisest and richest man looked back over his accomplishments and declared, “Meaningless! Meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

If King Solomon, who had achieved so much in life, came to that conclusion, what is the average person to think? What if we aren’t trying to accomplish anything big? What if we are only trying to stay one step ahead of disaster? What if we never seem to get ahead in life—no matter how long or how hard we try?

With Overwhelming Force

"The LORD said to Gideon, 'You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the LORD said to Gideon, 'There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.'” Judges 7:2-4

My Namesake

“For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.” Psalm 25:11

My namesake is the apostle Paul. There are others with that name in my family line, but my mother made sure when I was very young that I would know exactly whom I was named after. No doubt, there are also many others named after this well-known Christian leader.


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