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Bumps In the Night

Saturday, October 19, 2019

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When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid
Oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

- Stand by Me, written and recorded by Ben E. King

I was reading the comics the other day and came upon Family Circus, an all-time favorite. It depicted Jeffy laying on the floor, playing with a toy truck. “Mommy?” Jeffy asked aloud. “Yes, Dear?” came his mother’s response from the nearby kitchen. “Nothin’,” Jeffy replied. “I jus’ wanted to make sure you were there.”

One of the secrets to Deanna and my 34-year marriage is the things we have in common, such as our deep faith and our unconditional love for our family. As far as hobbies, we both enjoy camping, reading, and antiquing. And yes, we also have enough dissimilarities to keep things interesting, too.

Another commonality we have is that neither of us likes to sleep alone. After 34 years of bumping into each other in the middle of the night, we both find it reassuring to know that our lifelong mate is right beside us.

I have experienced a similar “bumping in the night” during my three-decade ministry career. Once, I was leaving a position that I had held for many years and wasn’t sure what laid ahead. And so, my going-away party felt more like a public execution. However, along with Deanna and our kids, my dear friend Larry “Chap” Lilly accompanied me on that death march and was a great source of comfort.

Likewise, I was preaching a controversial message at a church a few years ago that I knew would be widely accepted by some and strongly opposed by others. In between services, I asked a close friend to enter the sanctuary alongside me and he did. Thanks, Keith Cutting, I really appreciated you being there when I needed you most.

Some call it “the ministry of presence”. It is what Job’s friends did when they first sat beside him in the ashes. Unfortunately, after seven days and seven nights, they eventually opened their mouths to offer some unsolicited advice and it all went downhill after that.

Aren’t you glad that the God of the universe walks beside you in good times and bad? In fact, His Spirit indwells you as a believer and He has promised to never leave or forsake you, no matter what.

The song “Stand by Me” was inspired by a spiritual written by Sam Cooke and J.W. Alexander called “Stand by Me Father”. The third line of the second verse was taken from Psalm 46:2 (see below).

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.” Psalm 46:1-3 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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