Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/19/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Lecompton UMC
Topeka District
Mayetta UMC
Potawatomi UMC
Topeka District
McLouth UMC
Topeka District
Meriden UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 11:1-9 

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
    the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the spirit of counsel and might,
    the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
    the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
    and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
    and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
    on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

Today's Devotional

Dec. 19 is a special day in our family. Dec. 19, 1983 was helicopter day. Our 2-½-year old daughter was in the pediatric intensive care unit with an unidentified illness. The medical staff was losing the battle, so they opted to move her to a hospital with more resources in the hopes of saving her life. It was so cold that night as they took her to the helicopter that her IV froze and her blood pressure dropped to nothing. She was brought back in Code Blue to the ER. We spent Christmas that year in the hospital chapel.

Three months later, our fully healed almost 3-year-old proudly announced that Jesus and her grandfather came to visit her in the hospital. My dad died before she was born -- she had never met him until that day in the hospital. To this day, I cannot tell the story without tears flowing.

Believing in Jesus is not an option for her -- she’s met him in person.

Twelve years later, we were anxiously awaiting our first grandchild. She was due to arrive around New Year's Day. On the morning of Dec. 18, her mother called and was going to the hospital. Our granddaughter was born about 20 minutes after midnight on -- you guessed it -- Dec. 19. I guess God thought it had been helicopter day long enough. Since then it has just been our granddaughter's birthday.

We all have difficult times and tragedies that come into our lives. We aren’t promised that our lives will be free of those things just because we have faith in Jesus Christ. People we love get sick and sometimes die. Jobs are lost, finances ruined -- sometimes of our own doing and sometimes through no fault of our own. Through it all, God is faithful. He somehow makes something good come out of our deepest despair. As we go through this Advent season, may we see past the clutter of this world to the child who was sent to lead us all to everlasting light.

-Mary Brooks
Five Rivers District Lay Servant Ministry Director
Lyndon UMC

Prayer for Reflection

Loving God, help us to trust you even in our darkest hours. Help us to see the hope that was born in a lowly manger, bringing light to a world that still needs it so very badly. Amen.


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