"The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life." Psalm 23:1-3 TPT
I was at a place in my life once again, where I suffered the loss of close friends. Not only did I lose my prayer partners, but my heart was broken from several other of life's blows. As a soldier in Christ, I found myself wounded, weary and alone. It is at these times that I must go to God with my broken heart and lift it up to Him and say "Here is my broken heart that's been shattered in pieces. Please heal it and make it whole." I mustn't seek a person or a thing, such as alcohol, to numb my heart. I mustn't busy myself with distractions and pretend the pain isn't there. These actions do nothing to heal my broken heart. I must go straight to Jesus! Jesus is the Healer; the gentle Surgeon; the Giver of new hearts.¹ Jesus died on the cross so to "bind up the broken-hearted."²
After we've surrendered our pain to Jesus, sometimes He will send a person our way to minister to us. I call such a person, "God's love-with-skin." God sent Joy (a fictional name) to me for this very purpose−to minister God's love to me at that very moment in my life when I was feeling the intense heat of the fire. Joy and I were introduced by a mutual friend over the phone and we met for lunch one day to get better acquainted. That morning Joy sat with God in prayer and welcomed Him into her day. She heard Him tell her that I was in need of being refreshed, so Joy knew that God was going to use her to bring me refreshment. And let me tell you, God was in our midst during our meeting that day and it made the pain and burdens of my soul feel light; just like Jesus said in Matthew 11:29, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." It was like I was in the midst of a fiery furnace, but the heat didn't consume or overwhelm me because Jesus sent a dew-laden breeze to refresh me. It's like the words from Isaiah 18:4, "I will look from My dwelling place quietly...like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
After Joy and I had lunch, we sat in her car to pray and listen to worship music. Joy sat there, yielding herself to God−her heart, her hands, and her voice−to be used by Him to refresh me, as she remembered His words to her that morning. I sat there worshipping the Lover of my soul, whom I was desperately clinging to, so as not to drown in the stormy sea that raged about me. It was then that Jesus came to me in a divine encounter that rocked my world and made it all worthwhile...
I saw Him standing in a doorway. Behind Him was an all-white bright light which beamed forth from the door and encircled His body. He stepped through the doorway and walked up to me. He had a white robe with a Jewish prayer-shawl draped over His head and shoulders. He had the wounds in His feet.
Jesus placed His hand gently on the side of my face and said "My beloved one. My cherished one." I then felt a gentle breeze blow on my face. He then looked me straight in the eyes and said "I don't mind looking you in the eyes." I replied, "I have nothing to hide from You."
I then noticed His smile. He had white shiny teeth as He smiled at me. I felt in my heart that He was happy with me.
Jesus then reached out to take my hand, so I reached back and took it. I knew that it meant that we would walk together on this journey of life, hand in hand. When I took His hand, it made me feel safe. My thoughts went to the many men who abused me in my lifetime. But holding Jesus' hand, I felt safe. I cried out, "Don't let me go!" But even as I said those words, I knew that He never lets us go. We are the ones who let go of Him.
I began to walk forward with Him, feeling that I never wanted to leave His side because I knew that as long as I stayed close to Him, He would protect me.
That day Jesus came to me because I was clinging to Him and looking to Him for His help. He came to me in a vision and also through Joy, a willing vessel who reached out to me, a near-stranger, but a sister in the Lord, and through her prayers and mine combined, Jesus came. And with His presence comes every means of provision needed for the journey. Thank you Jesus! Thank you Joy for saying yes to God. Thank you for being a yielded vessel for the Master's use.³ You are an oak of righteousness planted by the Lord to reveal His glory.⁴
2 Timothy 2:20-21³