Pastor’s note: I received this devotion from Kathy Ross who in turn received it from a friend. I am sharing it with Kathy’s permission. Today’s music selection was suggested by Kris Lynch.
Society: What about MY plans?
God: My plans for you are always better than your own. Don’t worry. I’m going to work this all out for your good.
Society: We’re not going to get anything done!
God: That’s the point. You know how you keep spinning your wheels- always working, moving, doing – but never feeling satisfied? I’ve given you permission to stop. I’ve cleared your calendars for you! Your worth isn’t tied to busyness or accomplishment. All you have to do is take care of each other.
Society: What does all this mean?
God: It means I’m in control. It means you are human and I am God. It means I’ve given you a wonderful opportunity to be the light in a dark world. It means you are going to learn to rely on me.
Society: What are we supposed to do when we can’t leave our homes?
God: REST. You are always so busy and overwhelmed, crying out to me weary and exhausted. Can’t you use a break from your fast-paced and over-scheduled lives? Go ahead and rest. Pray. Love your families. Be still and spend time with me.
Society: You mean we’re supposed to stay home with our kids ALL day, EVERY day?
God: Yes. And you’re going to be just fine. This time together is a rare gift. The rush of daily life has come to halt. Play games. Bake cookies. Work on projects you’ve never had the time for. Teach them kindness and grace. Show them how to endure difficult circumstances and steer them toward me.
Society: We better start hoarding anything we can get our hands on!
God: Prevention, yes. Precaution, yes. Preparedness, yes. But after that, it’s time to put the needs of others before your own. When you see someone in need, help them. Offer up what you have. Do not worry about tomorrow! Haven’t I always taken care of you? Now, go take care of someone else.
Society: Why is this happening?
God: To remind you that I am in control. To bring your attention back to me. I’m bringing you together as families and neighbors. I’m reminding you of your purpose and priorities. Now is the time to learn and teach your children what this life is really about.
Society: We don’t know who to believe.
God: Believe in me. Trust me. Ask me for wisdom and I will surely give it.
Society: We’re scared!
God: I’ve got this and I’m with you.
SPECIAL MUSIC: You Raised Me Up Mormon Tabernacle Chorus – YouTube
“This article first appeared on ChristianityToday.com on (March 8, 2020). Used by permission of Christianity Today, Carol Stream, IL 60188.”
God of hope and healing, we believe you are a God who bends his ear to listen, and so we pray:
1. For the sick and infected: God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of infection.
2. For our vulnerable populations: God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.
3. For the young and the strong: God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.
4. For our local, state, and federal governments: God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.
5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.
6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.
7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.
8. For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless: God, provide them every necessary support.
9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system: Protect them from disease, and provide isolation shelters in every city.
10. For international travelers stuck in foreign countries: God, help them return home safely and quickly.
11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: God, provide them with words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.
12. For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship: God, keep them from panic, and inspire your church to generously support them.
13. For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future: God, help mothers and fathers to partner together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children. For single mothers and fathers, grow their networks of support.
14. For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children: God, present them with creative solutions.
15. For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: God, help them to stay patient and positive.
16. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: God, give these women and men wisdom, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.
17. For pastors and church leaders faced with the challenges of social distancing: God, help them to creatively imagine how to pastor their congregants and love their cities well.
18. For college and university students, whose courses of study are changing, whose placements are canceled, whose graduation is uncertain: God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in you.
19. For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city: May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.
20. For frontline health care workers, we thank you for their vocational call to serve us.
We also pray:
- God, keep them safe and healthy. Keep their families safe and healthy.
- God, help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.
- God, help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic.
- God, deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).
- God, give them compassion for every patient in their care.
- God, provide for them financially, especially if they fall ill and are unable to work.
- God, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that many would ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel.
God, we trust that you are good and do good. Teach us to be your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus, who laid down his life for the sake of love. Glorify his name as you equip us with everything needed for doing your will. Amen.
Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers each day. If you have specific joys or concerns, you are always welcome to give me a call, text or email. 319.480.2993. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder we are having our Zoom Come and Go fellowship tonight from 4:30-6:00pm. If you know someone who does not have email or internet, feel free to share the phone number info from your zoom invitation you received from the office yesterday (Tuesday 14th).
Take care, stay well.