Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/30/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Topeka: First UMC
Topeka: Kansas Avenue UMC
Topeka: Oakland UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Highland Park UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Lowman UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: New Hope UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 55:16-23 

But I call upon God,
    and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem me unharmed
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
God, who is enthroned from of old,Selah
    will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change,
    and do not fear God.

My companion laid hands on a friend
    and violated a covenant with me
with speech smoother than butter,
    but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
    but in fact were drawn swords.

Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.

But you, O God, will cast them down
    into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
    shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

Today's Devotional

Two weeks ago, late in the afternoon, I discovered that the reason it was 79 degrees inside my house was that the air conditioner had stopped working. At the time, the outside temperature was about 100 degrees.The heat index was 106 – and still climbing. I immediately called a local HVAC company and felt blessed to be told I would be one of the first on the list for service the next morning.

I am pathetic when it comes to my own discomfort – and being without air conditioning in extreme heat can send me into a panic. It isn’t just the discomfort. I suffered heat exhaustion years ago and know the dangers of extreme heat. Knowing that relief would come in the morning helped me get through a long, very hot and sleepless night, but it didn’t do much to relieve the anxiety of the situation as it unfolded.

Like the psalmist, I cried out to God, morning and evening, complaining and moaning about my sad state. At the same time, I kept reminding myself that my situation was temporary, while many people in town cannot afford air conditioning at all.

The psalmist also speaks of a friend who broke his covenant. As believers, we enter into a covenant in which we are to place our trust in God. (“Cast your burden on the Lord – he will support you! God will never let the righteous be shaken!” (v. 22)) But, too often, at the first sign of difficulty or distress, we break that covenant by abandoning the promise that God will see us through the difficult parts of life – just as I did in that long, hot night two weeks ago. But God did see me through my discomfort and brought relief the next morning – in the form of an HVAC technician who knew how to repair the AC unit. As the house slowly cooled down to a comfortable temperature throughout that day, I was reminded that God does, indeed, save me from all my struggles -- but not always as soon as I might like!

--Rev. Robbie Fall, retired elder
Hutchinson, Kansas

Prayer for Reflection

Redeeming God, in those times when we begin to panic over things beyond our immediate control, calm our fears and remind us to cast our fears and burdens upon you.May we always trust in your faithfulness – even when our own faithfulness is in question.In the name of Jesus, Savior and Redeemer.Amen.

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