My eighteen year old son and I watched one of our favorite movies, Apollo 13.It's a story about a mission which has gone out of control.Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert fought against unbelievable obstacles to bring home their wounded spacecraft.There wasn't enough power, poisonous carbon dioxide was being released into the cabin and they faced the possibility of missing their re-entry window and sailing off into space.Their situation seemed hopeless as millions watched and prayed.
Helplessness is no stranger to Christians.It's one of satan's favorite tricks to remind us when things go wrong just how vulnerable we are and how dependent we become.Maybe you are facing a situation now which has you feeling helpless and hopeless.I want you to know that you are not alone.Given enough time everyone is placed in that uncomfortable position.One person reminded us that through all our trials it is important to maintain a steadfast heart:
Are you tired of fumbling around in the dark?Are you too lazy to get out of bed to turn the lights off?That’s a commercial for a new product on the market called the “Handy Switch.”
According to its website, Handy switch is a wireless light switch you can use to remotely control any lamp in your home. Each Handy Switch comes with a switch and remote receiver. You simply plug the receiver into an outlet, and then plug your lamp into the receiver. That's it!When you flick the switch, it sends a signal to the receiver, telling it to turn the power on or off. It's that simple.
Each time I see this commercial, I chuckle.I delight that God has provided a source of light and that my legs can still get me from point A to point B, so I’m not too lazy YET to get up to turn off any lights.
I have, on occasion, stumbled and fumbled when getting up to go to the bathroom during the wee hours of the morning.Sometimes the only illumination is from the security light outside that shines in through the opening in my drape.It’s just enough…unless the light flickers.
My solar-powered security light is on from dusk to dawn most of the time.Once in a while, the bulb is so dim and it flickers such that I wonder why not replace the bulb?But, within a few minutes, it becomes full-strength and the light will shine brighter and steadier than ever.
Some of the roads I’ve traveled have been dimly lit; flickering lights abound.But, I am constantly reminded through His word found in Isaiah 42:16 (Contemporary English Version)
“I will lead the blind on roads
they have never known;
I will guide them on paths
they have never traveled.
Their road is dark and rough,
but I will give light
to keep them from stumbling.
This is my solemn promise.”
It’s that simple.I know that God’s word is true and all that I need to keep from stumbling.Even when the light is dim, His unchanging hand is there to guide me.My light may flicker, as life often does, but I have His promise.
It’s that simple!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I hear the world’s view on many occasions and its advertisements are meant to bring us joy, fulfillment and peace.We just need to purchase the latest gadgets and all will be well.
But, You and I know, Father, that those promises are far from the truth.Oh, we may be temporarily pleased, but “things” don’t bring us the joy the world says we should experience.More often than not, we go into such debt for our “things,” it leads to more difficulties than we ever contemplated.
But, Father, You deliver on a promise that’s bigger and more satisfying than anything the world has to offer and when my light flickers, I am assured that You are with me.
My path may be rough and dark, but Your light will always keep me from stumbling.
It’s that simple!
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, May 14, 2008
"Adoption is Final"
Two days after bringing him home, we took our beautiful ten day old adopted son to the best hospital we could find for an examination.Our spirits sank when our family doctor told us a day earlier that he had a heart murmur and felt we should get a second opinion.After a thorough evaluation he was given a guarded report and we were all optimistic that through prayer and determination he would grow out of it.That was thirty plus years ago!
Several months after the hospital visit, we were scheduled to finalize the adoption in family court.The judge ushered us into his chambers and explained the laws regarding adoption.He told us that there would never be another opportunity to change our minds, and that once we left the courthouse, we could not undo what we were about to do.Without hesitation, we signed the appropriate papers and had ourselves a baby!Glory!
Adoption is a blessed event in the family of God.It happens because we are chosen, hand picked, loved and nurtured.It can never be undone.Even if we disappoint our Father to the point of tears and frustration, we are still His, because adoption is final.
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will."Ephesians 1:5
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I was an orphan ten years old when You looked into eternity and picked me to become Your child, to enjoy all the privileges that go with being in Your family.You could have chosen someone more handsome, more talented, and less stubborn, but you didn't... You chose me!You make me feel so special.Thank you, Lord."Amen and amen.
Have you ever had an “Ouch!” moment - a time when something you were enthusiastic about was cut down by someone who didn’t share your exuberance or your conviction?If so, you’ll probably have some understanding of how my friend felt in the scenario below when he told his pastor that he wasn’t going to seminary.
“A year after graduating from college I spoke with my pastor and let him know I was not going to attend seminary. I said, ‘Look at Brother John,’ (the pastor of a Baptist church in our area). ‘He never graduated from college or seminary.’ My Pastor scowled at me and replied, ‘You are correct. But God has a tendency to use a sharp tool easier than He can a dull one.’ He continued, ‘I know Pastor John personally. And YOU are no Pastor John. Get yourself back into school.’”
Ouch!That had to hurt…But, perhaps my friend’s pastor saw beyond the current situation and was giving advice based on his hope for the future.
The Apostle Peter experienced an “Ouch!” moment when Jesus said to him: “Get behind Me, Satan!You are a stumbling block to Me…”
Jesus had just explained that He must go to Jerusalem, suffer and be killed.But, Peter wouldn’t hear of it.He took Jesus aside and said, “Never, Lord!This shall never happen to you!”
Peter was agitated, excited and ready to act based on his personal knowledge of the situation.Even after walking with Jesus for three years, he didn’t understand that Jesus saw beyond the current situation. Peter didn’t understand that the words in Isaiah 55:9 applied to Jesus:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
When you have an “Ouch!” moment and your plans or ideas seem to be dashed to the ground, don’t pout or sulk in discontent – go to the Source of all knowledge, the Source that has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
He will turn your “Ouch!” into joy…
GospeLines Prayer:Father God, when the “Ouch!” comes and my spirit falls, lift me up by Your mighty hand – remind me that even when my plans seem to be falling apart, You have plans to give me hope and a future.Remind me that if I obey Your commands, I will remain in Your love so that Your joy will be in me and my joy will be complete.Amen & amen!
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
Everyday in every way, Jesus amazed His followers.He could see the divine handiwork of His Father in almost any situation.And He seldom missed an opportunity to find a miracle in things which went practically unnoticed by the crowd.
One day He noticed a beggar in the streets, blind from birth. Using his own spittle and a little dirt, He made a mud ointment and used it to cover the useless eyes of the man.Though repulsive and unsanitary today, spittle was quite commonplace as a medicine in that day, especially from a person of renown.Afterward, the man was sent to the pool of Siloam, a common landmark in the city, to wash his eyes.
Jesus didn't ask much of the man.And he did what the patient might expect a local doctor to do.Then he sent him to a convenient place nearby to wash away the mud, and the man's eyes were opened.
Our Lord doesn't ask much of us.We are asked to worship one day a week, not seven.He asks from us a tenth, not ninety percent.And he asks our participation in the miracles around us, not our penance.It isn't like we must travel to some faraway, foreign place to gain the ear of God.He is right here with us and can be seen in the most mundane activities of the day.O, that our eyes would be opened to see the mighty work of God around us!
GospeLines Prayer:Holy Father, thank you that I can see your power and glory everyday without traveling to some exotic hideaway.Thank you that you live and work nearby; the excitement of your presence is mine to cherish in the most common, everyday activities.Amen and amen.