Devotional and Discussion Thought of the Day:
8 GOD also says: “When the time’s ripe, I answer you. When victory’s due, I help you. I form you and use you to reconnect the people with me, To put the land in order, to resettle families on the ruined properties. 9 I tell prisoners, ‘Come on out. You’re free!’ and those huddled in fear, ‘It’s all right. It’s safe now.’ There’ll be foodstands along all the roads, picnics on all the hills— 10 Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, For the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs. Isaiah 49:8-10 (MSG)
“And I have grown weary of Christ’s words not to worry about tomorrow. But in His grace I have surrendered to God’s sovereignty and His providence, and it has made me free! (emphasis mine) (1)
778 “I know some men and women who don’t even have the strength to ask for help”, you tell me with sorrow and disappointment. Don’t leave them in the lurch. Your desire to save yourself and them can be the starting point for their conversion. Furthermore, if you think about it carefully you will realise that someone also had to lend you a hand. (2)
I came across the quote above in green this morning, and it resonated with me. It was in a devotion extolling poverty, nor because of the suffering it causes, but because of the clarity it gives, the dependence we need to have on God. It actually made begging sound like a deeply spiritual experience, one leaving us in awe.
I understand to an extent. Though not financially, I’ve spent most of the last year emotionally drained, impoverished you might say. Too much grief, my own and the grief that is shared among friends and church family. We’ve dealt with a lot of illness, too much death, too many people dealing with too many family troubles, financial problems, burdens for others. In the midst of it, I understand the joy of knowing God has provided , I can see hat He has done, how He has sustained, how He will continue to work through it all. I understand that cry of the beggar when he says he’s grown weary of those words of Jesus, the ones that encourage our trust and dependence on Him.
I almost feel like I am one of those Josemaria talks about, the ones who don’t have the strength to ask for help. Or definitely in the group in Romans, where I have to depend on the Holy Spirit to “translate” some of my prayers, because I am not sure how to pray.
That doesn’t mean I don’t trust in God anymore, I do. Matter of fact, perhaps more than I have ever before.
Because He is there in such times, I have seen it, Isaiah’s words are dead on accurate. I know it better than ever. Because He has answered, He continues to form me, He continues to use me to reconnect people to Him. He does walk us through the valley of the shadow of death.
The writer of the prayer in the Celtic Book of Prayer was right, by grace we surrender to God’s Sovereignty and Providence. Big “churchy terms” that need to be broken down, that we need to understand. Simply put, we know that He is here, that our Master is in charge, that He will care and provide for us. He will see us through the storms, for sure. He will also see us through the times after the storms. The times when the weariness sets in, when we catch our breath and realize how drained we are. So drained we can’t cry out, we don’t know what to say, we don’t even know if we are where we should be anymore.
We simply need to remember God’s promise. That He is here… that He will handle it, that He will provide.
These times, they aren’t the worst of times, they are among the most spiritual… for we realize how dependent we are, and can be, on our God.
(1) Celtic Daily Prayer – Meditations day 30
(2) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3222-3225). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.