Advent Devotion: He Will Stand By You

Post a Comment » Written on December 13th, 2003     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (December 13, 2003)  – Covenant Communications has posted  devotionals from church newsletters and web sites of Covenant congregations this month. This  one, entitled, “Stand By Me,” was written by Bob Simmons, pastor of New  Covenant Church, Foley, Alabama.

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us…2 Cor.1:21

We had opened the presents; tried on the clothes and played with the toys.

Another Christmas and it was good. We spent the greater part of the day  just enjoying the atmosphere of peace and rest. (But) the best gift was  yet to come.

It was as we got into the van and headed for my wife’s mother’s house  that we had the most wonderful gift of all given to us as a family. All  five of us were really thinking that whatever awaited us at Meemaw’s  house would be some more of the same and some good food together. I had  received several gifts, which included some Andy Griffith video tapes, a  great pen and pencil set and a couple of audio tapes, one of which was Elvis singing gospel. As we traveled, I began playing the tape by Elvis.  He sang “How Great Thou Art” as only Elvis can and then the next song  was when it happened, when the gift was given.

I had heard a hymn by Charles Albert Tindley when I was a boy. My father  used to talk about one of the early leaders in the church singing it and  indeed I can remember faintly his singing. It was far from the quality  of Elvis, but there was something about it that was different. It was  that “something that was different” that happened in a van on Highway 59  in Baldwin County, Alabama, to a tired family who had just gone through  the exercises of another Christmas.

As the song began to play the presence of God began to settle down in  the van with a holy essence of peace.

When the storms of life are raging, Stand by me; When the storms of  life are raging, Stand by Me; When the world is tossing me, like a ship  upon the sea,; Thou who rulest wind and water, Stand by me.

It was then that we received the greatest gift of the season, Jesus  himself. That van was for those few moments (and for those three verses)  the sanctuary of God. We all knew it. Some cried. Some sat still. Some  sang. We all were anointed.

In the midst of tribulations, Stand by me; in the midst of  tribulations, Stand by me; When the hosts of hell assail, and my  strength begins to fail; Thou who never lost a battle, Stand by me.

My mother lost the battle in an emergency room one day. She was 72. It’s  at a time like that that you need someone who has never lost a battle  standing by you. And He stood by my mother.

My father lost the battle in a hospital in Michigan one day. He was 82.  It’s at a time like that that you need someone who has never lost a  battle to stand by you. And He stood by my father.

My father-in-law lost the battle when he was 58. A truck tire with a  split rim blew up and took a portion of his head off. The doctor said  maybe 50/50 . . . He stood by my father-in law and we had him another 20  years.

When I’m growing old and feeble, Stand by me; when I’m growing old  and feeble, Stand by me; When my life becomes a burden, and I’m nearing  chilly Jordan; O Thou lily of the valley, Stand by me.

I tell you today, if you have lost loved ones recently, if you have  suffered loss in any way, if your dreams are shattered and you find  yourself standing in the valley of darkness, I have great news for you .  . . the greatest gift is the anointed presence of God himself. And He  will stand by you, too!

To read devotionals posted earlier, visit the following:

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