Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/19/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Aurora UMC
Bradshaw UMC
Phillips UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Beaver Crossing UMC
Ebenezer, NE UMC
Utica, NE UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Bellwood UMC
David City St Luke's UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Benedict UMC
Polk UMC
Stromsburg: First UMC
Prairie Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 13 

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
    and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
    my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Today's Devotional

Feeling alone or forgotten, especially when surrounded by others during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, is an extremely difficult place to be.  It can lead to a heap of further depressing questions that wash over one like a cascading, roaring wave of white water.  In the midst of such an experience it can feel as if one is submerged and at risk of drowning.  Have you ever been in such a state?  A place where you feel you are just going through the motions?  A time when others said the light was missing from your eyes?  What brought you out of such a state?

For me the answer is usually similar to what I witness taking place in the mind of the Psalmist.  The only thing that brings me out of such a state is a refocusing on the everlasting presence of God wherein the past, present and future meet.  Due to years of "cognitive science" and "psychoneurology" it is now known that our brains assemble our memories of the past in the same manner as our images of the future, all while we reside in the present.  Or as I once heard Rev. Dr. Leonard Sweet put it, "To walk down memory lane is to prophesy our way forward, and vice versa."  Put another way, we decide how to construct the future as we remember the past; and in choosing the past we remember, we construct our future. 

By way of the past we remember the times in which others pointed out our eyes lighting up with excitement and joy.  By way of the future we think upon the opportunities yet to come, dreams which make our eyes shine and our hearts sparkle with anticipation.  In the present we shout or sing for joy with wide eyes of wonder. Dreams of the future and recollections of the past come together in the present possibilities.  How will we respond?
-Rev. Tyler Kaufmann
Lawrence First UMC
Five Rivers District

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious God, our lives are filled with forces beyond our control that overwhelm us and threaten to overturn us.  In the midst of such times grant us your peace by reminding us of where we have been with you, where you have called us to go, and the possibilities where we can join you now to participate in sharing your love with the world.  Amen.


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