Stand Beside Me

September 12, 1999
by Mary Jane Hanson

Romans 8:28 – We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. (GNB)
Exodus 4:16 – He will be your spokesman and speak to the people for you. (GNB)

Almost two years ago, our nine-year-old Stephanie read a scripture reading during the worship service. It was a long reading taken from Exodus 4:1-17.

That September Sunday, the church was full. Stephanie walked up to the lectern so that she could do the reading. She looked out and saw the masses. We could sense her fear by the stormy-looking face. I came and stood beside her. She was able to complete the reading, and what is more, she read well!

Stephanie was sad because she felt that she had done a poor job. After the worship service, several adults spoke to Stephanie applauding her for being courageous. They stood beside her!

A member of the congregation wrote a letter of admiration. This letter cited "Stephanie's courage to complete the reading" as "an asset she will need her whole life long." The writer of the message stood beside Stephanie.

In Exodus 4:1-17, the reading which Stephanie read, God sends Aaron to stand beside Moses. God's support and love were demonstrated when others stood beside Stephanie. Stephanie's sadness turned to a feeling of acceptance and later pride.

Praise God for those who stand beside us when we need support! Through the display of kindness to Stephanie by members of the congregation, I was reminded that I make a difference to others, as I did for Stephanie that Sunday, when I support them through words of encouragement or deeds of kindness.

Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for sending people into our lives to support and encourage us. This demonstration of caring makes Christ present in our lives when we need it most. May we enter the lives of others in the same way. We praise you for coming into our lives in everyday experiences. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Jane Hanson <mjh013@sasktel.net>
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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