Search This Blog

Friday, 29 May 2020

Daily Devotions for Difficult Days [73] What to Do when you Don't know what to Do


Today's Guest Devotional is written by Amy Mullens

We never Know what God is Doing

In August of 2015, our family of five drove from our home in Pennsylvania to Niagara Falls.  My in-laws and niece flew in from Texas to join us there.  Everyone anticipated a wonderful time together exploring the amazing natural wonder of the falls.  Once we had settled into our hotel rooms, my mother-in-law knocked on our door with a gift.  She had handmade two beautiful, matching quilts for our daughters.

Our family already had one precious little girl in it, but we were waiting on another.  More than a year before, we had begun the adoption process and our faith was being stretched while we waited to be matched with our little girl.  When we were presented with those quilts, I felt like the idea that we were going to have two daughters became more real.  It is a tender thing to have a loved one affirm your own faith journey.  I laid in bed that night in the hotel and prayed that God would shorten the wait.  I ached to know who our daughter would be and to bring her home.  What I didn’t know was that our baby girl was born that very week.  While we were enjoying ice cream, riding a boat up close to the mammoth waterfalls and swimming in the hotel pool, our daughter was born in a rural village in Ethiopia.

What we don’t know, much of the time, is what in the world God is doing.

Joseph didn’t know about being second in command of Egypt while he sat in a prison for a crime he did not commit.  (Genesis 39-41)

Jochebed wasn’t able to foresee her people being led to freedom through the middle of the Red Sea when she desperately hid her baby boy in the Nile River.  (Exodus 2:1-10)

David probably could not picture his coronation day when he when acted like a crazy person to escape King Achish.  (I Samuel 21:1-15)

Esther was entered in an involuntary beauty contest without knowing she would be celebrated for centuries as a lifesaver of the Jewish people.  (Esther 2:1-18)

Paul and Silas did not know that the earth was going to quake and that their captor and his family were going to put their faith in Jesus when they began to worship God as mistreated prisoners.  (Acts 16:25-34)

The world over is living in uncertain times.  People are losing loved ones.  Jobs are in question.  Will schools be open in September?  Very little feels normal and we all wonder for how long it will be this way.  It is natural for anyone of us to wonder: “What in the world is God is doing?”

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
       

                                             Isaiah 55:8-9

 There is a sanctifying humility when we remember that God does things that are beyond our imaginations each and every day.  There is peace and comfort in knowing that he is indeed at work.

Here are some things that I shift my focus to when I struggle to see beyond the day-to-day difficulties, confusion and fogginess:

Trust His Love

I John 4:8 says that “God is love.”  It doesn’t say that he is lovely, loving or that he shows love.  This scripture teaches us that his very essence is love.  That means that no matter what the news reports, what fears enter my or what hard thing I walk through, God is, beyond any doubt, loving me in the midst of it.

Pray for Perseverance

We all want to make it, don’t we?  We want to see this day end on a good note, this pandemic come to a close with intact relationships in our home; we want to finish all things well.  Romans 5 tells us that suffering produces perseverance, which in turn produces character and character brings about hope.  There is a lot of talk about hope these days and it is so important to maintain hope, but if you do not have perseverance and character, it is going to be near impossible to muster hope during difficult moments.  I need to ask God for the strength each day to persevere.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  (Romans 5:5). Circling back to God’s character, we can be sure that our hope in him will not disappoint as it is backed by his love.

Worship Him

When I focus on who God is and remind myself how majestic he is, it completely changes my perspective about life.  I can remember the powerful things that he has done in the past and know that he is doing amazing things right now at this time in history in my life.  Often, I have to force myself to worship when I am feeling discouraged or fearful, but I have learned that it is a secret weapon in combatting the negative thoughts that the enemy would have me to focus on.  C. S. Lewis said, “There is no neutral ground in the universe:  every square inch and every split second is claimed by God and counter claimed by Satan.”  Worship is an act of redeeming the time the Satan wants to steal with despair, sadness and fear.

When you are tempted to think, “What in the world is God doing?” remember that you have no idea and that our smallness set against his almighty, sovereign place is high above our understanding and is exactly as it should be.

A SONG FOR THE DAY

Speak to me
When the silence steals my voice
You understand me
You understand me

Come to me
In the valley of unknowns
You understand me
You understand me
You understand me, God
You understand me

So I throw all my cares before You
My doubts and fears don't scare You
You're bigger than I thought You were
You're bigger than I thought
So I stop all negotiations
With the God of all creation
You're bigger than I thought You were
You're bigger than I thought You were

So much bigger than I thought
You're bigger than I thought You were

I believe
But help my unbelief
You understand me
You understand me
Help me reach
The faith that's underneath
You understand me
You understand me
Yes, You understand me, God
You understand me

I will rest in the Father's hands
Leave the rest in the Father's hands
I will rest in the Father's hands
Leave the rest in the Father's hands, yeah
I will rest in the Father's hands
Leave the rest in the Father's hands
I will rest in the Father's hands
Leave the rest in the Father's hands
So I throw all my cares before You
My doubts and fears don't scare You

Sean Carrol

You can listen in HERE.

A PRAYER FOR THE DAY

Our sovereign Father in heaven,

We thank you that your ways are higher than ours and your thoughts too.

We confess that we are often in the valley of unknowing but we thank you for the sanctifying and humbling grace this bestows upon us.

We ask that when we do not know what to do, you will help us to trust in your love, ask for your power to persevere and continue to worship you.

We do indeed worship you, our loving, sovereign and trustworthy God.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

No comments:

Post a comment