Friday, August 31, 2018

Jesus holds your hand

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. -- Matthew 14:31 (NIV)
Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. -- Matthew 14:31 (The Message)

Jesus holds your hand. He catches you and keeps you from sinking.

How great is that? To imagine Jesus reaching out to take your hand, saving you from sinking. The verse above is from the story of Jesus walking on the water, then Peter coming off the boat to join him.

Last night the passage containing this story, Matthew 14:22-33 came up in my devotions. Sometimes I imagine myself in the stories, as a way of making them more real, often seeing things from a different viewpoint, gaining different insights (Ignatian contemplation). I used my imagination and wrote the whole story in my journal, as if I were Peter.

When I got to the part where I (Peter) felt a gust of wind and suddenly lost my faith, I wrote, “And then I felt myself sinking. I yelled, ‘Jesus save me!’ And right away I felt Jesus’ hand grabbing mine.”

It might not seem to you as a big spiritual insight, but I found it striking to think of “Jesus’ hand grabbing mine,” rather than “Jesus reached out his hand and caught him” (as it is in the Bible). Jesus’ hand grabbed my hand. I was starting to sink and Jesus reached out to catch me. Wow! Thanks, Jesus!

May you feel Jesus’ hand reaching out to you, catching you, keeping you from sinking.

How may I pray for you?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sisterly love

May God bless you with the love like a sister has for her brother.

Yesterday when I was getting coffee at Starbucks, I saw what I guessed was a sister and her brother. The sister looked around 11 or so, the brother around 5. First, in line, the sister directed her brother to go sit at a table. Later, when I was outside, returning to Starbucks, she and her brother were, too. The sister was several feet ahead and said, “Better hurry up, I’m going to leave you!” Soon the brother caught up and as she held the door open for him, she said, “You know, I would never actually leave you, right?”

Doesn’t that just fill your heart? Those revelations of the love humans show to others are, as Jane Goodall wrote, “the reason for hope.” As I stood by the little girl, waiting to pick up my coffee, I turned and asked her, “Is he your brother?” She said yes and I told her, “You are a good sister.” I left smiling, and the man behind me, who’d overheard our exchange, was grinning, too.

Jesus is a good brother to us, a good friend who loves you. May you feel that love in your heart, soul, and mind.

What can I pray for you?

Saturday, August 11, 2018

God's wisdom

Trust in God’s wisdom because you know He loves you.
Do you not know?
   Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom.
--Isaiah 40:28 New International Version (NIV)
Thinking about God being wise can bring your mind in many directions. For me, the problem of sin in the world is the big question that arises. Often what happens doesn’t make sense to us. Where do we see God’s wisdom?
Sometimes we just don’t see it. Sometimes we live with questions, we live with the tension of not knowing. In her book, Inspired, Rachel Held Evans writes, “For Jewish readers, the tensions and questions produced by Scripture aren’t obstacles to be avoided, but rather opportunities for engagement, invitations to join in the Great Conversation between God and God’s people that has been going on for centuries and to which everyone is invited. (p. 23, Inspired, paperback, copyright 2018, published by Thomas Nelson).” Having questions is part of our conversation with God. It’s okay not to know.
What I do know is I trust God’s wisdom. Like the verse in Isaiah says, I don’t fathom it, I don’t understand it, but I trust God’s wisdom. And I trust it because I know He loves me.
May you feel that trust in God’s wisdom, because you know God loves you.
What can I pray for you?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

God's abundance

Today I encourage you to think of the abundance of God’s love. He loves you like a father, a mother, a brother, a friend, like no other, with abundance!

Life can be hard, but, thank God, there are also times when we can’t help but think, “My cup runneth over.”

There are many ways to think of God’s abundance, of our life of abundance, and what it all means, but right now, let’s remember God’s overflowing, unending, unearned, unencumbered, abundant love.

Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, 
"The Lord, the Lord God, 
compassionate and gracious,
 slow to anger,
and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.
Exodus 34:6