Then Moses summoned Joshua. He said to him with all Israel watching, “…God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8 (The Message)
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
The promises those scriptures set out for you and for me. That God is ahead of us, and is with us, will never leave us and will be with us wherever we go. But those of us on the journey which just passed through yesterday, is now going through today, and is headed toward whatever tomorrow will be, well, there are times that it doesn’t always seem that way.
There are times we feel all alone. When illness hits. Tragedy unexpectedly rears up and leaves us broken, wondering why, and not knowing where to turn for answers. Friends and family members disappoint and abandon us, leaving us feeling like we’re standing on the side of the road, all alone.
The insanity and evil we see and feel in our communities, nation and around the world—leaves us feeling empty, in darkness and afraid of what might be coming next. The storms and winds blowing through our life, and so much more, cause us to feel all alone and without hope.
It really happens. We’ve all been there, and may be there again. But here’s what we need to remember—we are never alone.
When everything seems to have gone wrong, and everyone seems to have gone away—we are still never alone to face what today or tomorrow will bring.
God is always there for you and for me.
So embrace the truth of these song words, written by Christ through Rodgers and Hammerstein, originally introduced in the Broadway musical, Carousel, and sung by many others since— “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky and the sweet, silver song of a lark. Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain though your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone, you’ll never walk alone.”
We will all have those moments of feeling all alone, abandoned, without answers to the things which happen.
Times when dreams come up short or fall flat, and we don’t know what’s coming around the bend, or which steps to take next in our life when we seem to be standing there all by ourselves.
Remember this—you’re not. I’m not. We’re not. We are never by ourselves, never alone, and will never walk alone—today, tomorrow, or ever. God is always there and will never leave us. We will never walk alone.
Thank God. Scott Whitaker
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
15 Simple Ways to Brighten Someone’s Life Today
1. Offer a compliment: Compliment someone on their work, their smile, or that enviable quality you’ve seen in them over the years.
2. Send a loving note, message, or text: A kind word sent via private message takes less than 60 seconds but communicates significantly a powerful message that can last a lifetime.
3. Leave an extra $5 tip: If you don’t typically leave a tip, brighten someone’s day be leaving one. If you usually do, randomly add to it for a job well done.
4. Say “I love you.”: The old adage about not saying “I love you” enough has remained relevant because it’s true (unfortunately). Your parents, your spouse, your kids… remind them again today.
5. Pay for a stranger’s coffee or meal: When my wife and I were dating, an unknown couple in an Applebee’s restaurant randomly and anonymously paid for our bill. It was a simple gesture that we bring up almost every time we eat in an Applebee’s—literally 25 years later. Want to brighten someone’s day and give them a story to tell everyone they meet for the rest of the day? Pay for the customer’s coffee behind you in line at the drive-thru.
6. Remember to ask your friend or co-worker about something important in their life: The next time your friend or co-worker tells you about an upcoming appointment or event, make a mental note to ask them how it went the next time you see them.
7. Come home early from work: If you have kids, they won’t live at home forever. And it’s always a fun surprise to have mom/dad come home early from work—especially during the summer.
8. Offer a meal to a family in need: The family from your neighborhood fighting cancer, or with the newborn, or working hard as a single parent. Offer to bring them a home-cooked meal or a restaurant gift card. The gift provides both time and money. But even more, it reminds people they are not alone.
9. Bring a treat: Doughnuts for the office or a favorite dessert for the family. Either one is sure to brighten a day.
10. Offer to take someone’s picture at a well-known attraction: The next time you are at a well-known attraction or witnessing a couple or family trying to take a selfie of themselves, offer to hold the camera and take it for them. The simple gesture usually takes less than a few seconds but provides a lifetime of memories for the people in the photo—especially if they are trying to capture a moment in the background.
11. Hold the door open for someone: For some reason, in our post-pandemic world, this simple gesture seems to carry even more significance. If you’ve already touched the handle, go the extra step, and hold it open for the next person so they don’t need to.
12. Tell a friend you were thinking about them: If something in your day caused you to think of a friend, tell them. “I just watched _______ and it made me think of you because you were the first to tell me about it.” “I just ate at _____ and it made me think of you because I know you like that place.”
13. Laugh at your friend’s joke: Go ahead—even if it’s not that funny. If someone took the time to try and make you laugh, the least you can do is reward them with it 🙂
14. Tell someone how they have changed your life: If someone’s actions, words, or life has inspired you and changed you for the better in any way, take the time to let them know that.
15. Say “it’s really good to see you.”: With sincerity and honesty. You never know how much an impact that simple sentence can have. Who knows, it just might inspire a blog post, read by hundreds of thousands, months later…
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Wisdom is rarely, if ever, acquired by speaking… so why do people insist on telling us their ideas instead of learning about something new? Dwight Short
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. C.S. Lewis
God’s ways are not our ways. Dan Shock
People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get. Fredrick Douglass
You can’t stop the thoughts that come into your mind, but you have to decide to cast them or capture them. Jomo Cousins
I seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted. OG Mandino
The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Each misfortune you encounter will carry in it the seed of tomorrow’s good luck. OG Mandino
He who talks more is sooner exhausted. Laozi
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. Ralph Waldo Emerson
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. Thomas Pane
Loyalty and friendship, which is to me the same, created all the wealth that I’ve ever thought I’d have. Ernie Banks
The best way to predict your future is to create it. Abraham Lincoln
This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it. Thomas Carlyle