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THE TRAVEL LOG | Psalm 147:3

The Travel Log || "God Our Healer" || June 2022 || Enjoy the real life, day-to-day travels in the life of Equip Evangelist, Rev. Ruth Strait

My name is Ruth and I have the calling of an Evangelist. It is my dedicated service to God to spread His Good News to any and all who will listen. Talking with people is something I love to do and will do so at every chance given.

THE TRAVEL LOG: God our Healer || Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

It was going to be a hot, scorcher of a day with the typical summer storms rolling in later in the day, so I got an early start to my day and decided to go fishing. Lunch, check. Fishing gear, check. Rod, check. Time to go. I got to my destination, such a beautiful sight to behold. God’s creation is simply breathtaking. All was quiet on the lake, a slight breeze blowing, the cicadas buzzing, a bullfrog croaking and a heron looking for its lunch. In the distant, I could hear the traffic humming its tune on the highway. Nobody else out and about, peace and quiet. What a most gorgeous morning!

After about an hour of no bites, not even a fish jumping, I decided to pack up and go to another lake in the area, but then I hear someone speak gruffly and said, “Mornin’ ma’am, anything happening?” I looked up and saw a gentleman a little older than myself with all his fishing gear and answered him, “Not a single bite, no fish jumping at all.” He looked a bit on the rough side, as if life had been hard on him. His demeanor seemed to be quiet and distant in nature. He went about getting his rods ready to cast out, moving a bit slow, deliberate and concentrating on his every move.

I introduced myself to him, making small talk trying to strike up a conversation with him. I was wearing my veteran ballcap as usual, a tool that I use as an icebreaker to conversation. It was just the thing to have a topic to talk about at that particular time. Raymond and I got to talking about the military, how we both served in the army and where we served. In our conversation is where I learned that he had a couple of tours in Korea that he said was very difficult. He didn’t go into detail, and I didn’t ask. He would smile every so often, but it seemed to be a painted-on smile, a kind of smile that covered the hurt in his heart, the kind of smile that had a buried hurt deep within, a smile that I knew well. I had that kind of smile before for many years. It's a painted-on thing, trying to fool others and mostly succeeding. It's a smile that can be seen through if you understood the pain. Been there, done that, a most difficult place to be.

The more we spoke, the more Raymond opened up, yet he was very careful to not go into too much detail. Surface talk is what I call it, just enough information to express his feelings but careful to not say exactly what it was going on inside his heart. Raymond expressed that he was in a deep depression, and it was a constant, straining battle for him. I felt that this was the open door God gave me to talk about Jesus. I asked Raymond if he knew Jesus. He said “Oh yes! I go to church. I go on outings with the other men there. We have a great time together. Yes, Jesus heals, but my depression runs deep.” I took the opportunity to tell him a part of my testimony how Jesus had healed me in many areas and that He could do the same for him. He was receptive to what I spoke. I asked if I could pray for him, and he said yes. I prayed a prayer of healing over him. A few tears leaked out and he smiled again that painted-on kind of smile. He talked a little more about the Army life. He didn't describe his tours in Korea but I could tell that he had stories hidden deep down. We really didn't speak much after that, just stood next to each other, fishing rods in hand. What started out to be a quick one hour fishing trip turned to three hours of talking, a testimony, prayer, and sitting still beside a newfound friend. Most importantly, we reaffirmed our love and faith in our God.

Sometimes it is best to just sit (or stand in this case) in silence, next to each other – A ministry of presence one to another. Conversation was not necessary at that moment, just being there beside him was the best thing needed. I truly understood that kind of smile, a deep hurt hiding, wondering when that pain would go away or if it ever would. It is that kind of pain and hurt that at times could make one wonder if there was a God who could really heal. For me, that was so many years ago I my life. I knew about Jesus as I had many folks tell me about Him but I chose not to believe over the years until 2007. That’s when my life as I knew it changed forever. I am so very thankful that I came to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. When I accepted Jesus on January 2007, I was at the absolute lowest point in my life. Depression was prevalent, alcoholism and addiction to pain pills, there was pain and hurt, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was questioning if I would ever get out of the pain I was enduring for so many years. I was questioning if life was worth living anymore. Yet, there is a God who heals by His will! Thanks be to God that His divine intervention met me at my point of need. It was He who had sent me two Christians who led me to Jesus and His saving power where His Spiritual healing had truly begun for me that day. Physical and emotional Healing can happen too as God wills for one. God is Jehovah-Rophe, our Healer. There is hope, friends in healing.

Psalm 34:17-18 "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."

This monthly Equip blog has been provided by Rev. Ruth Strait as she loves and leads in Christ during her daily travels.

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