A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Body

We have two bodies as such. The physical body and our spiritual body. The Spirit is an important part of both. Giving our hearts to Christ brings that spiritual body into balance and therefore, helps us understand the ups and downs of the physical body – even accept them when others cannot.

A Bigger Plan

As I stood in the empty apartment I once called home, tears streamed down my cheeks.

I could see where I woke up in the middle of the night to feed my son and where he first learned to crawl and take his first steps. I could hear the laughter from my friends who had gathered there for holiday celebrations.

The pain felt unbearable. To think that our life here was over and that we needed to start a new chapter. It seemed unjust in so many ways. I didn’t know how to accept having to move on, let alone embrace the next season ahead.

All I knew is that Jesus had ordained this time. He wanted it to be this way, and I needed to seek His Word for comfort and peace. But in my quest for that peace in this season, I still questioned why.

Why did my husband have to lose his job? Why did my son have to experience uprooting in his life? Why did I have to feel a loss of security?

In the story of Habakkuk, God brought the solace I needed. Habakkuk also questioned the grievances he saw in the world. He did it through an open and honest conversation with God, and so can we. God speaks to us and responds to our questions just as he did with Habakkuk.

We can trust that God hears us, and we can be assured, like Habakkuk, that God has a good purpose for the hardship we’re enduring. In our pain, we can share our hearts with God.

Doing so is not for nothing. In such times, He guides us in valuable, necessary growth that wouldn’t take place otherwise. We’ll learn who God is and how to lean on Him more.

God will do astounding things for us. We can persevere, knowing God is by our side to hear our grievances, to speak to us, and to show us that He is a good God who has us in His hands, no matter what.

Have you discovered that God has a bigger plan for you?

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Weary and Worn Out

Shirley sought answers for months.

Weary and worn out from her health condition, tests, and appointments with specialists, she finally got her diagnosis. Her illness had a name, although not a cure. Her treatment included medication, diet changes, and exercise. Only God could have arranged Deb’s placement at the gym one morning, riding a stationary bike next to Shirley. During their conversation, Deb revealed she had the same unusual illness. Once they had finished exercising and were walking to the locker room, Deb suggested they meet again. That day, a supportive friendship began.

Moses was weary and worn out too. He had led the Israelites safely out of Egypt only to hear their complaints in the wilderness. When the Amalekites attacked them, Moses stood on top of the mountain with the staff of God in his hands. He raised his arms, indicating the strength of God. But Moses’ arms gave way, and when they did, his army began losing the battle. Seeing Moses’ fatigue, Aaron and Hur provided a seat for him, then supported him on each side by steadying his hands. Eventually, the Israelites won the battle.

Moses needed relational and physical support. Two men saw his need and met it. Today, we can come alongside others to link arms in friendship and to lessen their burdens.

We may not stand by someone in a military battle, but we have opportunities to minister to those facing tough times. That may include providing meals for a household that is financially challenged, being company for a friend grieving and alone, or giving encouraging words to someone living in disappointing circumstances.

Look around today. Who comes to mind that is weary and worn out? How can you link arms with them and steady them in challenging times?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Beautifully Broken

One quiet evening, I enjoyed a few moments catching up on Facebook posts from family and friends.

As I scrolled, I stopped on an interesting illustration regarding a glow stick. The kind we purchase at the dollar store and give to our grandchildren on special occasions. The kids just love to get in a dark closet or room with them. They wave them in the air and laugh themselves silly. Now that’s a good time. But when we purchase one of these neon-colored treasures, they do not come out of the package glowing. Before it can fulfill its purpose of glowing, it must be broken.

Sometimes our God-given purpose is discovered in our brokenness. At the time of our daughter Kristen’s death, my husband and I were stretched thin. We can be so busy doing good things that we miss the best things God has for us. That is one of the greatest and most heart-rending lessons we have learned. I would have never dreamed I could make it through the death of one of my precious daughters. My God has been faithful to sustain and strengthen me thus far, and I am confident He will continue the work He has started in me until I meet Him in heaven.

If we trust God with our broken hearts, He will bring healing and bind our wounds. He will make us stronger if we cry out to Him in prayer and lean on His promises. His Word is true and faithful from generation to generation. As time has passed, our heavenly Father has given us a heart to share the life lessons He is teaching us with others. There is purpose in our pain. We have found when He heals those broken places, that is where His light shines through.

If God has healed your broken heart and bound your wounds, ask Him to show you the purpose in your pain. Like a brightly colored glow stick in the hand of a child, let your light shine. Someone needs to hear your story.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Love of a Father

Father’s Day was not celebrated in America until the twentieth century.

The special day was initiated to complement Mother’s Day. After Anna Jarvis founded Mother’s Day in Grafton, West Virginia, the first Father’s Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in a Methodist church. After several attempts to make it a national holiday, President Lyndon B. Johnson made the first proclamation honoring fathers. He designated it for the third Sunday of June. Father’s Day did not become a holiday until President Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

Long ago, our fathers came to the untamed land, built log cabins, and plowed the fields all day long. By the sweat on their brow, they put food on the table. They protected their families from Indian attacks, and some fought in various wars to keep us safe.

Today, our farmers have tractors which make their jobs a little less rigid. Still, many fathers work as hard as they did in the old pioneer days. Some work in hot factories and coal mines. Others have back-breaking jobs such as constructing buildings, highways, and bridges. Some men don’t get to choose where they work.

Countless men sign up for the military, committing themselves to keep us and our little ones safe. Firefighters and police officers work tirelessly around the clock to protect us.

In addition to our earthly fathers, we have a heavenly Father. He loves us and wants to have fellowship with us daily. Jesus showed us how to do that when He prayed to His father.

God loves you and is waiting for an invite for fellowship.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Provision of Pain

Pain is like a perimeter alarm that grabs our attention, alerting us to danger.

A paper cut, a dropped can, a banged knee—they stop us in our tracks to assess the damage. If we ignore or silence the warning, we risk exacerbating the injury or allowing a wound to fester.

Pain flared in my shoulder one fall and quickly impeded my daily activities. Cooking, cleaning, and even dressing produced loud gasps that worried my family as I tried to do life. Hoping to avoid surgery, I went to a physical therapist who recommended exercises, but the pain increased. I widened the field of medical opinions and procedures. First shots and painkillers, then x-rays, an ultrasound, and finally an MRI. Meanwhile, my shoulder pain worsened. Each intervention revealed more significant damage than the practitioner expected until a seventy-five percent tear in my rotator cuff sent me straight to a surgeon.

After surgery, it was back to physical therapy. There, pain meant I either pushed my limits or put premature stress on healing muscles. I didn’t know which—I had to trust my therapist’s directions. STOP if it was unsafe to continue, WAIT and breathe to relax my spasming muscles, or GO and push through for more progress. I’ll admit, the thought of doing more damage terrified me, making me reluctant to press on without the PT’s assurances that it was safe and necessary.

Yes, necessary. I needed to follow their instructions for optimal outcomes. Sometimes we need to push through the pain to achieve healing.

Many of us are walking through pain these days—pain of injury, loss, or limitation. We’d rather ignore or mask it than let it interrupt our plans, but pain gives us pause. We want relief, and there isn’t a flowchart. We need trustworthy and informed guidance.

Jesus is our Good Shepherd and best caregiver. We can turn our pain over to Him. If we ask for wisdom and follow closely, He will guide us on the right paths. He knows us best and loves us more than we could ever imagine.

Turn to the Good Shepherd for the guidance you need.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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