Friday, March 3, 2017

Devotional 3-3-17

Angels All Around

Please read Matthew 4:1-11.    Key Verse: Matthew 4:10-11
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

When I think about my parents and all they gave me, I am most thankful for my membership at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church. As a baby, I was baptized, I later joined the Carol Girls, Crusader, and Chapel Choirs, showed up for MYF, and looked forward to discussions in Sunday School.  As I grew in wisdom and stature, I gained an appreciation for honesty and kindness. Unfortunately, I got a little big for my britches in my 20s and took some time off from my church and church family.

When my 30s rolled around, I began to feel that something was missing from my life and the lives of my two daughters. I knew they were good girls, but I wanted them to have a background that would sustain them when times got tough or adolescence turned them into teenagers – whichever came first.

The three of us returned to JM (Don said he would audit from home) and became enmeshed in Sunday School, Kids Klub, and church services. Thirty years passed quickly.

This past November, Don lost a four-month battle with metastatic kidney cancer. He died on Sunday, was cremated on Wednesday, and was celebrated on Friday. I was alone for the first time ever on the next Monday.

If you read the scripture listed at the top of the page, you know that Jesus was fasting and praying for forty days and nights. You also know that Satan tried three times to get Jesus to use his position as God’s son for his own gain, but Jesus was not to be tempted – just annoyed.

When I read this, it reminded me of my first forty days and nights without Don. Satan tempted me. “If you drink a martini – or two – you’ll feel so much better, and you’ll forget that your heart is broken.” Or “There is no need to get up, shower, and venture out because your gloom and doom will cause your friends to be uncomfortable.”  Or worst of all, “You just sit here and think of all the things you said or didn’t say, or did or didn’t do, that may have caused your husband to suffer more than necessary. Or maybe you could have saved him.”

Many times I have called on God to get me out of the prison of guilt and fear I have made for myself. Every time He has sent angels to bail me out. I won’t name them because I fear that I’ll commit a sin of omission. They called to walk and do yoga, to have lunch or see a movie, to go to concerts and plays, to attend benefits and forums, and to cut down a dead tree. Best of all, they gave me jigsaw puzzles because we learned that when I focused on a  puzzle late at night, I couldn’t hear Satan’s voice.

Four months have passed – almost 3x40 days. My heart overflows with love for my friends and family, and most of all my God. I know that I must guard against listening to that evil voice whispering in my ear. Next time he’ll hear me singing, oh, so softly, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”
Heavenly Father, thank You for the angels You have placed in our paths. We feel Your love through them, and that makes us want to pass it on. As Pastor Deane’s grandmother always said to her, “You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.” Let us be the Bibles You want Your children to read. All of this we ask in Your name. Amen

Becky Warren

1 comment:

Anita said...

I love this, Becky, especially the line
"but Jesus was not to be tempted – just annoyed."