Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/28/2021

Today please be in prayer for

David Upp
Faulty, Wesley College, Mwanza, Tanzania
Hutchinson District
Robert Bolton
Alden UMC
Ebenezer (Lyons) UMC
Hutchinson District
Scharleen Cross
Arlington UMC
Hutchinson District
Becky Stark
Buhler UMC
Hutchinson District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah

Today's Devotional

I grew up in a busy family where one had to account for daily activities within the home setting. We were always early birds as we worked in the fields, doing house chores and schoolwork during the semesters. There was little time for quiet time and selfcare because of the business of the work that had to be accomplished everyday within the family setting.  I was often tired and as an introvert, yearned for silence within my soul. I was mostly consumed by regular schedules, internalized the anxiety about the future, and was never still before my God. There was so much noise within my soul, and I wrestled to hear from God alone. Honestly, I desired God’s presence in my life at a tender age but could not figure out how to capture God fully within the faith journey. Truth told, my parents played a pivotal role in molding my faith, yet still I was overloaded with worry, aches and pains of my childhood experiences, and lack of knowledge about God.

One day I decided to walk to the local church to clean. I truly did a wonderful job cleaning and dusted the pews and decorated the sanctuary at my home church. After cleaning, I took a Bible from the pews and read (Psalm 46:10-11) and was deeply immersed in verses which said, He says,Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

That was a turning point in my destiny as I seized the heart of God.  I repeatedly recited the verses regularly as I felt them speaking to my soul. I remember saying, my soul, hear the word of the Lord, be still and know that he is God. He is God by himself. I sat before him in intense silence and listened attentively to his voice. I felt his sweet powerful presence and acknowledged him as my God. He touched my inner person smoothly as I was silent before him. I spent some time with God in that stillness and he took away my burdens, pain, heartaches, brokenness, and assured me he was God. This was my first experience to be still before God.  To this day, stillness is my go-to “place” when I intentionally seek God’s holy presence.
 
Two things I have learned from the power of stillness are that: stillness is a primary source of increasing my foresight and discernment. The more time I spent in God presence the more I have deepened and widened my horizon in focusing on the vertical side of God. Stillness encourages me to center more on him than anything else within or around my physical realm. He is God and there is none other. Inner stillness is a place that our hearts can speak without our minds running off the road or elsewhere. Discernment is deeply rooted in capturing this awesome God in fullness.
 
Secondly, the voices that rage around us are diminished as the Holy Spirit flows within our souls. In a busy world that is constantly changing, outer silence is always achievable, but one can reduce its detrimental effects by gaining more strength in inner silence. The mind wrestles with issues of life and can be overwhelmed. But the truth is that when our minds finally surrender life burdens before God, inner stillness reigns. This then gives us the opportunity to reset the buttons of our lives under the guidance of God. I have discovered that because I learned the value of inner stillness, I am conditioned to respond differently to the hassles and bustles of life often. I am better able to consider higher choices of personal peace, happiness and everlasting joy which propel my strength. In order to be “still and know” we must be still enough to listen. Therefore, stillness is a primary source of closeness with God along life’s spiritual journey.  
 

-Rev. Ever Mudambanuki
United Church of Bennington &
Solomon Yoked Parish

emudambanuki@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

O God of divine silence speak to our inner soul in the stillness of your voice. We sit in silence and long to hear your voice and to know you more as we continually call upon you name. Holy Spirit quieten the voices around and within us. Amen.

 

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