Devotional Thought On ANOTHER MONDAY……
22 They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. “We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God,” they taught. Acts 14:22 (TEV)
77 Sometimes you feel that you are beginning to lose heart and that everything is getting on top of you. This kills your good desires, and you can hardly manage to overcome this feeling even by making acts of hope…Never mind: this is a good time to ask God for more grace. Then, go on! Renew your joy for the struggle, even though you might lose the odd skirmish. (2)
Have I mentioned before that I hate Mondays?
Probably, once or twice.
I get to my office, knowing that my office manager is out sick, A little frustration there, anxiety more ( I pray no little preschoolers get sick…) and I get to answer phones. Sigh
Go to turn on my computer – blue screens of death – call to help desk – their jammed – seems the new windows 8.1 update has some bugs? Sigh…
Finally get to my devotions… a time of peace, of calm.. (interruptions begin)
How the heck on a day like this, am I supposed to be holy, set apart to God, and example for those whom I pastor and shepherd towards His grace?
How can I trust that God’s will, will be accomplished, that He will be in charge, (that He will reign in MY life) Or will I be tempted to cuss and rant and basically act like I don’t believe He is here?
Grace – we have to keep remember the gifts, the promised and fulfilled gifts of God. We have to know He is here. That beyond our ability, beyond even our ability to conceptualize, He is working within us, through us. We don’t set ourselves apart to Him! He has already done this – in the very cross of Christ (read Rom 6:1-8) In His death, which is why we proclaim it as we commune with God.
That is how the Apostles strengthened the church, appointing pastors to care for them, encouraging them by pointing them to Jesus, helping them realize what happens in baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, What happens when we are assured that nothing separates us from God. For they taught we are His children, adopted, cleansed from the filth of the world, forgiven, loved.
We don’t have to do anything to earn this, but oh, how easily this knowledge can fade from our minds, can escape our lips, can be hidden in the depths our our heart… forgotten for the moment. We too easily let the comfort of knowing His presence fade as the challenges of the day overwhelm us…..seemingly crush us, distract and disillusion us.
Perhaps it would help if once an hour – I prayer the Lord’s prayer? Not that it is a holy act, but that I would remember that His kingdom has come, He is in charge here, that His will is being done here, among us, as Luther taught – among us. We need that. That God will provide, that He will show mercy and strengthen us against temptation and save us from evil. Again – this isn’t my act of piety, but my need to be reminded of the work God is doing here….the work we rejoiced in yesterday, as God makes a masterpiece, and reveals to us that we walk in Christ.
Prayer, especially this wonderful prayer that Christ taught us… the anti-dote for Mondays….
Lord, help us to realize you mercy… even…no, especially on Mondays!
(1) Luther’s Small Catechism: Developed and Explained.
(2) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 543-546). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.