Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/17/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Antrim UMC
St. John: First UMC
Stafford: First UMC
Hutchinson District
Sterling, KS: First UMC
Hutchinson District
Macksville Grace UMC
Trousdale UMC
Hutchinson District
First Presbyterian Church of Wilson
Wilson UMC
Hutchinson District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 139:23-24 

Examine me, God! Look at my heart!
    Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts!
Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me,
    then lead me on the eternal path!

Today's Devotional

Anxious thoughts? Well, there have been plenty of those recently. A pandemic can do that to a person. So can personal issues that seem to multiply daily. Job losses, health issues, kids out of school, not being able to see loved ones – or anyone else, for that matter, as well as more normal anxieties about our daily lives. And then, just as we think we may be able to start doing a few things that have been missing from our lives, we find ourselves taking two steps back.

It’s no surprise that we may have anxious thoughts. I know I have had my share of them during this strange year. Most often they come when I have gone out in public (mask in place), knowing that I will be in the minority when it comes to those wearing masks. For those of us with compromised immune systems going out in public can be a time of anxiety.
But the psalmist not only calls on God to “know” our anxious thoughts. He also calls on God to see if there are any idolatrous ways in him and to help him get back on the right path. Now, what might idolatrous thoughts have to do with our anxious thoughts?

We are, all of us, broken in one way or another. One of those ways is found in our tendency to focus on our own needs and comforts. We, in a sense, idolize ourselves because of our broken nature. This does not mean we are evil. It simply means we are human and in the midst of our anxieties we think of ourselves first.

In the midst of our personal anxieties, how often do we simply pray for God to relieve us from the things that bring us anxiety with no thought for what that might mean to others? (Not only in this year of extreme anxiety but at all times.) If we think God does not recognize such idolatrous thoughts in our hearts, we need to think again. And perhaps we need to pray for God to help us return to the path that leads all humanity to God.
--Rev. Robbie Fall, retired Elder 
 Hutchinson, Kansas

Prayer for Reflection

Free me from pride of self and any idolatrous ways, I pray, O God. Open my heart to walking the path that leads to you. Amen.


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Free me from pride of self and any idolatrous ways, I pray, O God. Open my heart to walking the path that leads to you. Amen.
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