Bethany Midweek Devotion: There Was Jesus 8-5-2020

Exodus 17:7: And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Hindsight is 20/20. Often, when we look backward, our life makes sense in a way it did not at the time. Our faith works like that as well. At the moment, it may feel like God isn’t paying attention. Looking back, we see that God was either at our side the whole time or working things out or both.

The poem, Footprints in the Sand by Carolyn Joyce Carty is a good example. 

Footprints in The Sand
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

“LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.”

The LORD replied:

“My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”  
Author: Carolyn Joyce Carty

Turns out God was there the whole time. Zach Williams is a Christian musician who was looking back over the last twenty years of his life when he made a discovery. Jesus was there in the highs and lows. So, he wrote a song entitled, “There Was Jesus” and invited Dolly Parton to perform it with him. 

Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/3FHXpvsfGLM

Lyrics
Every time I try to make it on my own
Every time I try to stand, I start to fall
And all those lonely roads that I have traveled on
There was Jesus

When the life I built came crashing to the ground
When the friends I had were nowhere to be found
I couldn’t see it then but I can see it now
There was Jesus

In the waiting, in the searching
In the healing, in the hurting
Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces
Every minute, every moment
Where I’ve been or where I’m going
Even when I didn’t know it
Or couldn’t see it
There was Jesus

For this man who needs amazing kind of grace (mm-hmm)
For forgiveness and a price I couldn’t pay (mm-hmm, mm-hmm)
I’m not perfect so I thank God every day
There was Jesus
There was Jesus

In the waiting, in the searching
In the healing, in the hurting
Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces
Every minute, every moment
Where I’ve been or where I’m going
Even when I didn’t know it
Or couldn’t see it
There was Jesus

On the mountains
In the valleys
There was Jesus
In the shadows
Of the alleys
There was Jesus

In the fire, in the flood
There was Jesus
Always is and always was, oh
No, I never walk alone
Never walk alone
You’re always there

In the waiting, in the searching
In the healing, in the hurting
Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces
Every minute, every moment
Where I’ve been or where I’m going
Even when I didn’t know it
Or couldn’t see it
There was Jesus

There was Jesus
There was Jesus
There was Jesus

When you look back over your life, where have you felt abandoned only to discover God was carrying you? Have you noticed the blessings in the broken pieces? 

Isaiah reminds his readers in chapter 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

May you be able to look back over your life and sing out that Jesus was there! 

Prayer:
Immanuel, I praise You for Your faithful love — drawing near when I was far from You. Instead of casting me away from Your presence, You came to call me home. Instead of punishing me for my sins, You came to free me from them. Immanuel, my God, You are here with me today. Live in me and glorify Your Name, I pray.

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