I first wrote my devotion for April Connections in February, way ahead of the March 30 deadline. At that time the world was a different place. By March 15th, I knew that I would need to re-write it. My first devotion was about affirmation, which we all need once in a while and which God gives in abundance in the Bible. But that doesn’t speak to our new world—at least for the time being.
Deuteronomy 31:8, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Underscore mine.)
Here is a Bible verse that DOES speak to this time. The same message is given more than once in the Old Testament and, while it speaks to all of eternity, I find comfort in it right now.
There are so many questions as we live through this very strange time in history. When will this be over? Will I ever get to hug my mom at the nursing home again? How do I protect my children? Will our summer vacation plans be ruined? Will I lose my retirement in the stock market? How can we do this for much longer?
Joshua 1:9, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Underscore mine)
As we find ourselves hunkering down in our homes, we may lose our sense of purpose, our connection with others and our patience with our family members. The Old Testament again tells us that God goes with us everywhere… in every emotion.
Joshua 10:25, “Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.’” (Underscore mine.)
Right now our enemy is a silent virus. All we hear on the news is information that worries or confuses us. Even young people are getting sick, the death toll rises every day, our economy is going to crash if we don’t fix this soon, there aren’t enough rooms in our hospitals, graduations are being cancelled.
Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Underscore mine.)
God’s got this! One minute of worry or fear is one minute too much. I keep telling myself this—and so does my Father in Heaven.
PRAYER: Lord, Ps 94:19 says “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” We know you are watching over us. We know you are omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. We know you are in charge and that you know all things. Remind us to console with you when we are feeling anxious and to seek your blessings minute by minute. You are our great God. Amen
Shelly Surridge, Salem Lutheran, Orange, CA