Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.
Devotional for Anxious Days
Pastor Randy Gehring
February 3, 2021
“The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 (NRSV)
I woke up early this morning, long before my alarm sounded. As I became aware that I had made the transition from sleep to wakefulness, my mind immediately began sorting through thoughts and feelings from the previous day and charting a course for the day ahead.
When I realized I had passed the point of no return and was awake for the day, I decided to talk to God. As I shared the feelings that were weighing upon my heart, I asked God for help to sort them out. I prayed for guidance and clarity of direction. I prayed for forgiveness and a second chance. I prayed for strength and the ability to trust where doubt was creeping in. The time passed quickly and it was soon time to crawl out of the warmth and comfort of the flannel sheets, but my heart felt lighter than when I first awoke and I found myself grateful for the gift I had been given.
When I arrived at work, I began the morning as I typically do, by turning to a devotional resource I have come to appreciate. About two-thirds through the reflection, the author’s words spoke directly into everything I had expressed in my early morning prayer time, even using the second-person singular present tense as if he was standing in my office giving me advice and affirmation. I knew in an instant my prayers had been heard and answered.
As you well know, sometimes the weight of living this life can feel too heavy to bear. So many dynamics are at play simultaneously. Some of them we can manage, at least to an extent, but others are beyond our control and leave us with no other option than to merely react. The pandemic comes to mind as an obvious example as well as surprise medical diagnoses, but I am sure each of us could name many others.
In those times when we find ourselves most vulnerable and unable to find a way forward, when our emotions and self-doubt overwhelm our problem-solving faculties, maybe the best thing we can do is strike up a conversation with God, remembering that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf and trusting that God will provide what we need. It may not be what we want 🌝 or given in the timeframe we’d prefer but it will definitely be what we need.
Holy Spirit, Comforter and Friend, I open myself to your care and comfort. Though I may not know how I should pray or what I should do, I ask for strength and courage for the days ahead. Remind me of your presence. Grant clarity where confusion reigns and humility that recognizes the gifts of those around me. More than anything, give me faith to trust in your goodness and in your promise to always listen to me and love me forver. Amen.
Devotional for Anxious Days
Pastor Tim Lemme
January 20, 2021
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Matthew 6:34 (RSV)
These are the closing words of Jesus to his disciples and listeners from a larger discourse on “Not Worrying” found in Matthew 6:25–34. I encourage you to read the whole section sometime for more good advice from our Lord.
It is an appropriate lesson for us to consider these days as we find ourselves and our nation at a time of great anxiety and worry. For close to a year now we have struggled with the Covid–19 pandemic that has taken a great toll on the entire world. In our nation, we have seen racial divisions and political strife that have divided us deeply and continued to tear at the very heart of our being as a country. Indeed, there are many things that cause us to be anxious about today and uncertain about what the future holds for us all.
Worries can seem overwhelming at times, especially when we dwell on the uncertainties of tomorrow. Jesus reminds us, “Let the day’s own troubles be sufficient for the day.” His words remind us to not let our worries take away the promise we have of God’s presence and love in all things. God’s love is the hope we have as God’s people, today, tomorrow, and always.
Dear God, teach us to lay our worries at your feet each day and to trust in your love to be the anchor in life’s storms. Amen.