Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/4/19

Today please be in prayer for

NE Wesleyan Campus Ministry
Blue River District
NE UCC, Lincoln
Blue River District
Registrar-Great Plains Board of Ordained Ministry
Blue River District
Johnston-Harmony, South Carolina Conference
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 43:1-7 

But now thus says the Lord,
    he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
    Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my sight,
    and honored, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
    I will bring your offspring from the east,
    and from the west I will gather you;
I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
    and to the south, “Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
    and my daughters from the end of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

Today's Devotional

I drove north from my home in Lincoln this Sunday to take my son to his soccer game about 65 miles away. We found ourselves on a detour when we discovered the normal route had been washed out by the flood waters a few weeks ago. As we drove into town -- still in recovery -- my teenage son was quieted by the large still-standing bodies of water in parks and lowlands, a lot full of saturated cars in impound, and the sight of the field house by his soccer fields converted into a temporary shelter and resource center.
 
There was no doubt. The river had overwhelmed indeed.
 
This text had been sitting in my mind for weeks as I watched the pictures of ravaged farmland, breathless animals, and stunned Nebraskans. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”
 
Sigh. That reality stings.
 
The journey through this world cannot be without woe, heartbreak, and -- yes -- even desolation. “On earth as it is in heaven” is upon us for sure, but the battle between creation and destruction is still going on here in the realm of air, wind, flesh, and water. The promise is that we are never alone. The promise is that destruction will not have the final word.
 
Whether we bring that destruction about ourselves through our egos, our failings, our shame or whether we watch seemingly helpless as a child’s health fails, a business goes under, a calling fades away - we live in a reality that is greater than all of these. The reality -- even as we feel the water creep -- is that we are known. We are called. And we cannot be lost or ripped away from the love of God.
 
Take a deep breath and rest in that promise.
 
And then take another. How can you carry the presence of GOD to someone for whom the water is threatening to overwhelm?
 
You are known. You are loved. You are called.
-Jodi-Renee Giron
Spiritual Life and Discipleship Director
Trinity United Methodist Church
Lincoln
 

Prayer for Reflection

God of renewal hold us close when the forces of destruction seek to level us. Call us by name when our shame and our fear call us something different. We lean into your unfailing love.
 

 

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