Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/8/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Bellevue, KS UMC
Emmett UMC
St. Marys UMC
Flint Hills District
Blue Rapids UMC
Waterville: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Climax UMC
Piedmont UMC
Toronto UMC
Flint Hills District
Cottonwood Falls UMC
Elmdale UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 127 

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
    the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives sleep to his beloved.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
    his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Today's Devotional

It is tempting in our culture to think that hard work (always) pays off and we can do anything to which we set our minds. There is definitely power in “positive thinking” as we contemplate the possibility of good outcomes, especially as opposed to negative ones. While clearly people in our society have varying access to opportunities, in American culture, as a whole we have many opportunities and lots of abilities and talents at our disposal. When we add persistence and hard work to the equation, many—even those who come from contexts where opportunities aren’t as available—can accomplish incredible things!

And yet, Psalm 127 reminds us of an important truth: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” You see, all that hard work and persistence is in vain, unless we remember our utter dependence on God. We may think it’s our building and guarding and hard work that gives us protection, but Psalm 127 makes us stop and remember the truth: it’s God’s grace, blessing, and presence that builds the house, not the fruit of our labors.

This summer, my husband and I bought a house. It was an exciting, and anxious time for us and at multiple times throughout the process, we thought the house we wanted to purchase might fall through. When we first ran into problems, this Psalm brought me great comfort—and challenge! Sure, we could probably forge ahead and find a “human” solution to the conflict, but we were invited into a deeper trust of God’s care and reminder to seek God’s protection and provision, even if it meant a different living situation.

There is a blessing in being able to work, and a much greater blessing in remembering that we are dependent upon God to “build the house.” May we never forget to seek God’s direction, wisdom, and presence as we “build” our daily lives.

-Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford
Clergy Recruitment and Development

Prayer for Reflection

Father God, you are our strong tower and in you our hope, protection and strength are rooted. Keep our hearts and minds focused on your will for our lives and may we trust you to “build the house” of our lives. In Christ’s name, Amen. 


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