Friday, June 20, 2014

Devotional 6-20-14

Don’t Be Afraid !!

Lectionary Readings:  Genesis 21: 8-21; Psalm 17; Psalm 86: 1-10 & 16-17; Romans 6: 1-11; Matthew 10: 24-39.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your father.  And even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid:  you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:28-30.

Lately, I have been struggling with change.  The end/beginning of various chapters of my life and the lives of several friends and family members.  Many of the events are joyfully anticipated and celebrated even though they mean big changes in future schedules and life focus—my grandson just graduated from high school and will be going to Marshall in the fall.  We have truly enjoyed all of the senior activities and team triumphs, but there is also an element of sadness as a part of life’s journey must be laid aside.  Other changes involve more sadness than celebration: saying “Happy Retirement” to trusted friends or “Best Wishes in your New Job or New Home” as friends move on to other activities or places.  Even the death of long-time friends has caused me to pause and reflect on the changes that are happening all around me.

But as I read and contemplated the scriptures for this week, I realized that the constant that I can and should be counting on is GOD.  I am blessed by a God who cares for me, wants the best for me, loves me beyond any speck of deserving and who sends me countless messages to “PAY ATTENTION:  I AM IN CHARGE:  DO NOT BE AFRAID!!!”  Change is inevitable.  I don’t need to be afraid of the future, because God is in control.  Those who know me, know that giving up control is not a natural or easy activity for me.  I struggle with letting go more than is reasonable or comfortable, but all of my future is in God’s hands.  I do not need to be afraid.

Why should I feel discouraged?  Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is he:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When song gives place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to him, from care he sets me free:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.
                                                                                    Words by Civilla Martin

Life is constantly shifting and moving like the sand dunes at the beach. When we are lucky enough to actually visit a beach, we observe the changing tides and the sights and smells surrounding us and are reminded that even the lands and the seas do not stay the same. There is a plan in the ebb and flow of all of life.  My problems may seem overwhelming at times, but God holds my hand, shelters my soul and hides me from the storm.  Change happens—hang on to God and enjoy the ride!

Dear Heavenly Protector we are so very grateful for your constant presence in our lives.  Help us to sing or say these words daily to remind us that we are yours. And although life changes fill us with fear, you are always the source of our protection and strength.
“Let the Son of God enfold you with his Spirit and his love. 
Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
O let him have the things that hold you and his Spirit like a dove 
will descend upon your life and make you whole.
O come and sing this song with gladness as your hearts are filled with joy.  
Lift your hands in sweet surrender to his name.  
O give him all your tears and sadness; give him all your years of pain, 
and you’ll enter into life in Jesus’ name.
Jesus, Jesus, come and fill your lambs.  
Jesus, O,  Jesus, come and fill your lambs.” 
(words by John Wimber)     AMEN.

Chyrl Budd

1 comment:

Becky Warren said...

Your devotional really touched me. It's tough for us "fixers" to turn problems over to anyone, even God. Thank you for sharing your strategy for getting through bad times. Love you, Becky