Recent Written Devotions 2022

May 5, 2022
in your hands 050522.jpg

In Your Hands, Lord by Julie Luetke

     

               At some point in life, our loved ones both friends and family, old and young will be out of our reach. Maybe it is your child on their first day of school. Maybe your mother is wiping a tear as you prepare to go off to college. Have you sent off a friend or family member to fight in a war? We worry about them staying safe.

                Parents naturally want to protect their children. Do you remember all of the cautions from your parents as you went out with your teenage friends? I myself am guilty of thinking, “No one loves my children as I do and it is my job to take care of them and keep them safe.” In reality I can’t protect anyone.

                My roommate can be in a car accident while on vacation.

                My baby can die of crib death in the next room.

                My five year old might be picked on at school.

                My boyfriend can get hurt playing soccer.

                My sister’s heart can be broken.

                My grandpa might fall.

                I simply cannot protect them. It doesn’t matter if my loved ones are in the next room or the other side of the world; I cannot keep them from harm.

                I have no choice but to turn my family members and friends over to the only one who can protect them, Jesus. He knows where they are when I don’t. He knows who they are with and what they are doing at every moment. They are never out of His sight.

                God tells us in Isaiah 49:16, “See, I have you engraved on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

                God is not just talking about me; He is talking about my children, my parents, my friends and my husband too. Have you ever gotten ink or paint on your hands that you couldn’t wipe off? You notice it all day. God cannot stop thinking of us. We are engraved on His hands, right next to the nail marks. Think of the times you have had something valuable in your pocket. You kept checking to see that it was still there. Jesus paid for those you love with His blood. They are of great value to Him. Jesus is always checking them.

                Spend the time you are tempted to worry about the people you love in thanksgiving that the Great Protector has them not only in His sight but within His reach. As you say good bye whisper, “In Your hands, Lord, in Your hands.”

          

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash

 
A WORD for Women
April 28, 2022
car wash.jpg
 

The Car Wash by April Cooper

     

               When was the last time you sat through a carwash? Not the carwash where you stop the car, get out, and wash it yourself. I am referencing the fancy, upgraded car wash where you sit in line and wait your turn to go through the car wash tunnel. That tunnel where your car is still running, where time seems to slow down… and you are no longer in control. Believe it or not, there is a lot that goes on in that tunnel!

                During that tunnel car wash there is the traditional wash, wax, a ceramic coating (at the really fancy car washes) and then rain guard or some type of protectant to seal it all in. Sometimes there is even a special cleaner applied to the tires, as well. That's a lot of washing… and waiting. Each wash application has a process and method. Each has its own purpose. And, each takes a certain amount of time. If you want the end results to be far better than when you arrived, you just have to wait.

                Similarly, have you ever been in a "tunnel" season of life? Everyone should shout a resounding "YES" because we all face hardships and trials at some point in our lives. In those times, there can be some long periods of waiting. We need to learn how to be patient during those waiting seasons. We also need to learn how to lean in, seek God, and rest in Him. Ask him what He is trying to teach, and really embrace the lesson.

                Waiting to hear from God, waiting to see His hand at work, and waiting for things to get better requires peace, contentment, and a strong determination to be patient. The patience is worth it. Psalm 32:8 says "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." (ESV) That, my friend, is WORTH the wait.

                Do we want to step in and speed things up? Usually! Do we sometimes "think" we know what the outcome "should" be? Unfortunately, at times, we think we know how best to solve the problem. But scripture reminds us that "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." (Isaiah 55:8 NLT)

                As a true follower of Christ, we should automatically recognize that God is Sovereign and we should willingly give him full control during this season, and every season. If you haven't already, put all of your trust in our Sovereign God because relying on and waiting on the Lord only makes us better. No matter the season seek God, and I know He will see you through. You will come out washed, restored, renewed, protected, and strengthened.

          

Photo by Zulfahmi Khani on Unsplash

A WORD for Women
April 21, 2022
unwelcome gifts.jpg

Unwelcome Gifts by Tracy Hankwitz

     

Another snowfall - this one not welcome.

 

It’s April. Yesterday the air was warm; today, this white falling from above. I know there is a reason for this delay of season’s change. Spring will come in God’s timing, not mine. So I sigh, murmur thanks, and get out the shovel.

 

There’s been a lot of unwanted snowfalls lately, unwelcome gifts.

 

A dear friend loses her battle with cancer; another struggles with depression – wandering in what seems like life’s desert -trying desperately to find direction.

 

Snow may fall quiet but at times it’s a blizzard.

 

We all have tasted disappointment when life doesn’t go the way we wish it would. We look at what has been placed in our hand and say “What is this?”

 

Like Israelites in the desert, we look at this manna, white falling from above and ask “What is this? What is this that God wants me to walk through? This is grace? This is what God thinks is best for me?”

 

Though we don’t understand, He asks us to trust Him. He asks us to gather up this manna every morning, this thing that doesn’t make sense, and receive it as gift – as grace. Instead of asking ‘why’, we are to be grateful and turn our pleas into praise.

 

It isn’t easy, but we can trust our heavenly Father with everything. He knows what’s best for us and this manna is meant to nourish. As we hold this manna in our hand, He holds us in His.

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

          

Photo courtesy of Angie Olson

 
A WORD for Women