Daily Devotional – January 27, 2020 “What’s the answer?”

When tragedy happens, it is during this time we tend to question things. It’s a natural reaction when we don’t understand why certain things happen. One moment you’re celebrating birth and the next, death. One moment you’re happy and the next, tears won’t stop. One moment you’re going about your day and the next, sickness shifts what you know to be normal. One minute you’re driving to work and the next, your car is being slammed by somebody who ran the light. One moment you’re making plans for tomorrow and the next, funeral arrangements. One moment you’re in a helicopter headed about your normal business and the next, you’re gone.

Why do things happen?

I wish I had the answer but here’s what I know, sometimes things happen. Sometimes, the test will be positive for cancer. Sometimes, your womb will be shut. Sometimes, the pain won’t stop. Sometimes, your heart will be broken. Sometimes, the business will fail. Sometimes, you might lose your job. Sometimes, your organs may not function well. Sometimes, family will get sick. Sometimes, the house will be foreclosed, or car repossessed. Sometimes, the accident couldn’t have been prevented. Sometimes, death will darken your door. Sometimes, it looks like evil is winning.

And although we may never understand, bible shares in James 5:13, “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.” What’s the answer? PRAYER. Even in the hardest, darkest and toughest moments that cannot be explained; PRAY. Even in the moments when tears won’t stop, and words escape you, allow God to hear your heart. When it feels as though you won’t survive the pain, pray. When confusion is invading your thoughts, pray. When you’re angry, pray. “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:18.)

Dear God,
We may not understand why things happen, but we won’t lose hope. God, the pain feels unbearable, the questions seem never ending and confusion is present; but we call out to you. Help us, God that we don’t perish by misunderstanding, yet we hold tightly to hope. Help us, God that we do not sin in the midst of pain. Help us, God that we do not turn from you, in the moments of anger. Help us, God to pray. Send God, people who can pray for those who can’t pray for themselves. Surround those who are fighting sickness, temptations, grief and confusion with intercessors who will cry loud. Help right now that we don’t lose our way. We need you, God and we’ll trust you. Amen.

Daily Devotional – 12/30/19 “Cycle of Completeness!”

I was going back through some older devotionals, looking for one to share again. I couldn’t find it, but I stumbled across this one and I’m led to share it again (with revisions). It’s not that God doesn’t have more for me to say but somebody needs this word. Somebody who is feeling like God can’t use them. Somebody who feels like rejecting the calling on your life because of who you think you are. This is for somebody who’s having a hard time believing that God can and will use you. Maybe you feel like this woman. A woman who didn’t always feel useless but now she walks the streets, in skimpy clothes, selling herself to every person she thinks can fill the emptiness on the inside of her.

See, her son passed away, a year ago, at the age of two; heart disease, and no matter how she tried, she couldn’t bring herself out of the depression that called her name day after day. Her family loved her, but they couldn’t help her. She tried drugs/alcohol but even they didn’t help. One day she got into the car of a man she’d serviced before. He had a smile that made you trust him, and she did. But this day the smile faded, and the monster appeared. He raped and beat her, leaving her at the edge of the city for dead.

She was in a coma for nineteen days.

On the twentieth day, she opened her eyes and saw a man walking around her bed. She couldn’t make out what he was saying but he kept touching her. She tried to speak, she tried to move but couldn’t. So, she closed her eyes and whispered within her spirit, “Lord, I surrender,” before drifting off to sleep. The next day she is awakened by the sounds of her mom calling her name. She opens her eyes and after the tubes are removed, she asks about the man. No one knew who she was talking about, but she kept whispering, where’s the man?

After a few days, the hospital chaplain comes in and she recognizes him. She asks him about that night and he explains that God allowed her to sleep until the 20th day because 20 represents the cycle of completeness. 20, biblically, is connected to a perfect period of waiting, that sometimes comes with labor and suffering. Think of it as serving a sentence and it’s now release day.

This woman’s cycle of guilt, shame and depression was now complete.

For whomever you are that’s reading this and thinking, God won’t use you because of your past mistakes and present sin; you’re wrong. Beloved, your cycle of shame is about to be completed. Your season of lack, it’s about to be done. But you must surrender and wait on God. I don’t care about your past or your present, God has need of you, but I need you to make it to 2020. Can you do that? Will you trust God enough, even in your labor and your suffering? Will you believe God’s promise to never forsake you? Will you take God at His word? Your cycle of completeness is on the way, but you’ve got to make it.

Psalm 138_8