Archive for October 30th, 2006

I Will Never Leave You, or Forsake You

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Today’s scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Christen Peters):

Anybody who thinks God lacks a sense of humor has not met the same God that has been with me lately.

When I was asked to write on these verses, I chuckled at how my perception of them is so different today than it would have been three months ago. Three months ago I’d have thought that it would be easy. “God’s always with you”. . . ”Tribulation makes the trip worthwhile”. . . ”Footprints in the sand”. . . yada, yada, yada. God had other plans for me. God’s plan was to give me some measure of the experience myself.

It is unlikely that I will ever know persecution like that of the early Christians. It’s not likely that I will ever be arrested and stoned to death for professing my faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not likely that I will ever have to guard my movements, relying on others to provide for my every need as I try to make safe passage to the next town.

It is almost guaranteed, though, that the time will come again when I will grieve the loss of a loved one. Or grieve that a loved one is facing seemingly insurmountable troubles. Or watch as good friends painfully dissolve their relationship…and wonder if I’m doing all I can to make sure my relationship with my spouse doesn’t meet the same end.

There were days when I wanted so badly to feel God’s presence — but was too focused on what was going on without to pay attention to what was going on within.

One night as hot tears flowed, I found Joshua 1:5 “I will never leave you, or forsake you” running through my mind. And in response to the thought I started humming “Oh God, you are my God. And I will ever praise you.” Something about my relationship with God happened in that moment. I think I finally absorbed that God really is always with me and will never leave me or forsake me. Since that moment, each obstacle I encounter seems to be accompanied by a song of praise that pushes its way past my instinct to grumble.

The only exception to that being when the RO system blew up last night — no song of praise this time, but I could swear I heard God chuckling with me.

Thought for today: I don’t think God leaves me in times of trouble — but my focus sometimes leaves God in times of trouble. Help me, dear Lord, to always keep you first in my thoughts.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: Jesus MCC’s Homeless Ministry, and the Horizon House, where they volunteer many hours to help our homeless neighbors.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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