As we turn the page to March and hope and pray for warmer weather and longer days, here are a few sentiments that held special meaning for me from the pages of my copy of the Upper Room devotional booklet. Perhaps you have some to share in the comments.
(After a senseless act of violence, one man writes)…What, I wondered, led the killers to tear a hole in the glory of God’s world? the only answer that came to me was that evil had taken root in their lives because love was not there to crowd it out.
“I can’t seem to get over these doubts, Lord, but I’m coming to you in spite of them.”
In moments of weakness, we are tempted to let our insecurity and limitations grow. …we end up hiding our potential and withdrawing from the opportunities God has in store for us. …Knowing God trusts us gives us the strength and courage to face our challenges and realize our potential and our gifts.
He may give us only enough clarity and courage to take a single step forward, but it is up to us to “take up” our present situation and take that step.
As I yielded to and depended on the Lord, I was given the ability.
God is in the detours of our lives.
God knows right where I am and loves me mightily.
When God said, “I am who I am” or “I shall be who I shall be,” God was saying, “I am the one who causes things to be.” I am the Creator of history.
My job is to do the tasks in front of me. God’s job – God’s delight – is to use them to feed the world.
You reach into the darkness with hope, truth and light. Stretch out your strong hand in this situation, in our circumstance, in your world. Hold and rescue those who have suffered. Let your almighty love move mountains, cross seas and breathe life into the darkest places.
Light that redeems.
Light that restores.
Light that heals.
Light that protects.
Light that saves.
There is nothing higher, stronger or greater than your love.
We trust in you.
People who are sitting comfortably are happy to speak up. From their seats they shout, “We’ve always done it this way.” “Why can’t they see?” “Whatever happened to?” “They just need to!” And they often land on, “How come I can’t get any respect?” Comfort breeds inertia. And to these, it may feel very much like steadfastness or tradition. Which has its place …. as long as we are willing to give up our seat.
I am grateful to have people in my life, including my pastor, who discomfort me. Because discomfort causes me to squirm. Squirming leads to wriggling. Wriggling leads to getting up to check if there is something wrong with my chair. And from standing I can look around – even move around – to work the room and get to know who’s there. After all, from the comfort of my seat I can only receive those who seek me out, but from standing I can seek out others. I can get to know how they feel, what they’ve been through, what they know and who they are.
Then when we’re called to order, I take a new seat. One which has been vacated by someone else or, if there are not enough seats, I will be happy to stand. When a seat comes open I can take it and get to know my new neighbors. Maybe they have seen me standing and have waved me over. Those are people I want to get to know. People who are willing to give up the empty seat next to them, even put their things on the floor, so someone can sit there. Just love those people. I hope to be those people.
But for now my objective is not to become so settled in my seat that I don’t notice when it’s time to move. I’m not looking to leap into the expensive seats, nor am I eyeing the podium. Just, maybe, to perch on the edge. Back straight, abs tight, shoulders back, feet on the floor. It’s funny how ‘ready position’ works for any situation. Balanced, expectant, looking and listening. There’s something good ahead. I just know it.