Devotions

It’s Time to Tell

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 
 
A family member needed help early one morning that required me and my car. I enjoy the small hours of darkness before dawn, but I’m not usually trying to get out the door at that hour. I was glad I could be helpful, but a little sleepy. Suddenly one thought really blessed my soul as it crossed my mind, and that was how I would get to see the sunrise on my way back home. God’s design for the light switch of earth is always a breathtaking work of art, to put it mildly! I’ve watched sunrises and sunsets in all kinds of weather, and I’ve never been disappointed. The array of light, the texture and shapes of clouds, and the diversity of colors amaze me every time. It occurs to me that admiring God’s handiwork is an act of praise. To love God with all our heart and mind and soul and strength is to be constantly aware of God’s good work. That day as I drove east and the sun began to rise, my heart lifted with joy and I praised God. The dark purple-grey streaks of cloud had become sunrise orange underneath, and the dark blue sky shifted to a powder blue. At one point in my journey home I had to turn the car west and so I faced the dark side of the sky where the sun had not yet reached. I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to turn the car back to the light. 
 
These hard days of fighting a virus, seeing the pain of our brothers and sisters around the world, and trying to live our daily lives in as normal a way as we can takes a toll on our spirits. The psalmists were often faced with real life traumas and epic disasters. Praise of God was a regular practice for them that helped them grow in faith even as it helped them cope with pain. Praise can feel like a disconnect from reality or a jarring note of joy in the middle of a lament. Here’s the good news: hope and love are not tied to our circumstances. God’s love and goodness are not dependent on our mood or situation. Hope in God is water for the thirsty soul. Our God has loved us with an everlasting love and so when the heavens are telling us of his glory, the right response is praise. In the act of praise we remember God is with us and we celebrate his unlimited power. We turn to the light! I find encouragement flowing towards me and filling me when I lift up praise. Telling God off or telling God our troubles or telling God on each other are likely things we’ve all focused on from time to time. The fact is that God has done for us what no one else could ever do. And God isn’t going anywhere! He keeps communicating his love to us. Praise helps turn our darkened perspectives around to the light of God. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! What beauty to discover and blessings to share as we tell God of our love for him! We, like the sky and clouds and sun, are God’s handiwork. Get going with your praise. This is the right time to tell of the glory of God! 

Dog Years

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:27 (NRSV) 

My “puppy” is 5 years old…that is 35 years old in “dog years.” The last time we went to the vet, they told me he is now considered an adult dog. How can this be? Where has the time gone? I want to keep thinking of Sawyer as a puppy so that he stays young, and I don’t have to think about him aging.   

At first glance, this devotion seems to be about my dog, but really, it is about getting wrapped up in the worry of the future and our inability to know what is coming our way. Jesus was aware of our human propensity to worry about things for which we have no control. I believe it is why the scriptures remind us that the peace given to us by Christ is special. It is different from that which we try to offer one another because the power of our Creator is offered in the peace we receive from being in relationship with the Lord.   

I want to enjoy every day that I have with Sawyer and all those I love. I do not want to be concerned and focused on what “might” happen because I have no control over the future. I do, however, have the ability to live in today and be grateful for the many ways God is working through me. Today, I pray that you will receive the peace of Christ and your heart will be trouble-free. 

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion

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