My Cousin Barnabas



A devotion from Cheryl Zelenka

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. “ ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NKJV)

Do you look for opportunities to encourage others? When you are down, are there people in your life who will lift you up in prayer? Together, we make up the BODY of Christ. We need each other. God is all about inter-relationships. He created us to interact with Him and with those around us.

My cousin Nancy, posted a wonderful prayer on her FB page and I wanted to share it with all of you. It speaks of how important it is to rely on God for His peace, guidance, and will. Nancy is a Barnabas to me. The name BARNABAS means “Son of Encouragement.”

This second cousin of mine helped in the revision process of my book, Facing Trials: Thoughts for Meditation. A wise and devout woman of faith, Nancy has learned the importance of cultivating a close relationship with God. We only met a few times as children, but God re-crossed our paths about a year ago. I am so thankful she is now in my life. She helps to spur me on in my spiritual race. I believe I am doing the same for her.

Just as with any friendship, we do not see eye-to-eye on all matters. However, the things that are truly important hold us together and thankfully, we love each other enough to set aside our differences. In some cases it is wise to agree to disagree.

With God as the center of our relationship, we encourage each other, pray for each other, celebrate good times and victories, seek out each other’s counsel and wisdom, and cry on each other’s shoulders when we are in need. Such friendships are a true gift! I hope all who are reading this post have a special friend like my Nancy. We really do need a Barnabas or two in our life. If you don’t have one, ask God and He WILL send an encourager your way. In the mean time… look to see how you can be a Barnabas to somebody else. By giving, you shall receive!

A Prayer To Begin You Day:

O Lord, grant that I may meet the coming day in peace.                                                                         Help me in all things to rely upon Your Holy Will.                                                                                     In every hour of the day, reveal Your will to me.                                                                                      Bless my dealings with all who surround me.                                                                                  Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with the firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings.  In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by You.                                                                  

Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.                          Give me the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.                                             Direct my will. Teach me to pray.                                                                                                         Pray Thou Thyself in me.  Amen.  

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”                                          ~ Alexander Graham Bell

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Comments 2

  1. Rui

    Wonderful prayer!
    I’m going to come back here to read it more times. I need every single word of that prayer in my life!

    P.S. – Your interview for KLTT radio was very helpful. “Refine” is a word that I’m going to try to remember more times when I’ll face my trials.

    1. Post

      Hi Rui,
      I am glad you liked the prayer. I loved it and thought others would find it a blessing. Thanks for the kind words about my first radio interview. I hope to give more in the future! Blessings to you. Cheryl

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