Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week of August 17 - 23

This week's devotions can also be found on Facebook - "A Light Shines in the Darkness" August 17 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8 In this life everything changes. Our relationships evolve. Our circumstances alter. Our happiness ebbs and flows. But in this world of constant transformation, there are certainties that are never dependent on conditions, feelings or time. Those certainties are the promises of God, which remain steady, unwavering and true no matter what. God is always faithful. God is always loving. God is always concerned about us. God is always reaching to connect with us even when we are not able to reach back. God’s offer of help and hope is forever fixed on our well-being and on our healing from disease, despair and disappointment. That never changes. Oh God, thank you for being so steadfast in a very uncertain world. I need your calm reassurance when everything around me seems overwhelming and unsettling. I am grateful you are here to see me through. Amen. August 18 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1 God knows and understands our difficulties. God has not created us to live in disappointment and distress. But God reaches out to us in our anguish and fears to offer us respite and relief from the evils that confront us. God wants us – passionately and unconditionally – to know a better life than the one we so often experience. When we look to God and know that God only wants for us to possess a new life of joy and peace, we can begin to find the comfort and hope we seek. Loving God, your plan for us always includes our perfect well-being. I need to hold onto that promise today. Amen. August 19 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 There is so much to grieve when cancer invades our lives. Sometimes the losses are overwhelming – the loss of control, the loss of comfort, the loss of a sense of invincibility, the loss of a healthy future. This threat to our lives calls into question some of the most basic parts of our selves. But if we use this grief to examine just what is important to us, what really matters, it is amazing what kinds of strength and comfort we can find. When we confront the losses and can find ways to use them to reframe our thinking and priorities, we can experience healing in ways we never imagined before. I am looking today, O God, to find comfort in my vulnerabilities. Help me to turn my losses into strengths, my weaknesses into victories. Amen. August 20 You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14 One of the very clear expectations in the scriptures is that we are to share our blessings with the world. When we are thankful, we are called to express it. When we have something good happen to us, we are to share it. When something wonderfully unexpected occurs, we are to tell about it. This is not about bragging or boasting. But it is about giving a witness to those around us that God is at work in us – enabling us to be strong, giving us what we need, guiding us to experience the wonder and goodness of this life. This is our life’s purpose: to shine a light whenever we can, to pierce the darkness wherever it is. I know I can be a light to those around me, because you have given me so much to share. O God, thank you for the opportunity to brighten the world through my daily witness and activities. Amen. August 21 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fill it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Isaiah 42:10 Today, make a new start that brings you more hope than you had yesterday. Use this day to find a way to forgive where there is a grudge. Create a way to relax more. Find a way to laugh often. Love deeper than you have loved before. Do something that brings you intense joy. Complete a task you’ve long left undone. Resolve today to grow in some way. Confront a fear. Reprioritize where things are off-kilter. Begin a new chapter today and sing a new song of goodness and wonder with this day – this gift - you have been given. I look to you today to understand in a deeper way the wonder you have planned for me. Dear God, I pray this day for wisdom and discernment to guide me in new and more hopeful ways. Amen. August 22 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6 Humility. The lack of it is a constant human problem. We want to do things our own way. Yet our limited human way usually creates more trouble for us. But when we humble ourselves before God - respecting, looking to, waiting for, following God with an open mind and heart - we can find the solutions and guidance we need. When we approach God and loosen the grip on our preconceived notions we can experience greater help than we can ever imagine. I bow before you with humility today, O God, knowing that too often I prescribe the answers and don’t truly consult you. Today I want to listen. I pray to hear your voice. Amen. August 23 Pray in this way, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Matthew 6:9 When we go to God in prayer it is essential – always – to look to God as the one who can show us the way to authentic healing – that which uplifts us, changes us for the better and brings us the perfect peace and joy we need. In fact, when we look at the root for the word hallowed we see that it comes from the same place as holy and healing. Holy be God’s name. Healing be God’s name. Holiness and healing are essential to God’s nature. They cannot be separated. When we understand and accept that with our entire being, we begin to experience all the holiness and healing we need. The change in our lives will be miraculous. Holy God, healing God, you are the source of all I need. I seek to be touched by your holy ways today. I ask to be surrounded by your healing goodness in every way. Amen

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