Salem Central Seventh-day Adventist ChurchWeekly Services:
My soul is greatly dismayed; but You, O LORD—how long?
Barbara shared yesterday about some events that occurred during one of the most challenging seasons of our marriage. On top of the crises she mentioned, our one-year-old son, Benjamin, had to be rushed into emergency surgery; we were cheated out of a substantial amount of money on a home we had just bought; and after returning to southwest Missouri to temporarily run my deceased father’s propane business, I had a medical episode of my own.
I remember lying down on the very bed my dad had died in only months before, feeling my heart beginning to race at a frightening level. It turned out to be a panic attack. Dangerous only to my ego.
Two nights later I found myself on top of a tank car at 2 A.M., pumping propane and battling subzero temperatures. I had never been more confused in my whole life.
It was pitch black except for the twinkling stars on that brutally cold night. There I was, totally confused about what was going on in my life. Exhausted from the strain. I remember raising my fist and face heavenward against that winter sky and crying out loud to God, “What in the world are You doing?”
That’s a fair question sometimes, isn’t it? Have you ever been confused and cried out to God in a similar way? Are you in a situation right now where the only thing you know to say or think is, “What in the world are You doing, God?”
These are never times for pat answers or spiritual clichés. But every now and then, it is good to be in a situation where you are forced to throw your full weight of dependence back onto the only shoulders strong enough to carry you. In crying out to God, you find out in time how good, how redemptive He really is.
He is there. And He cares.
If not you, think of someone you know who’s enduring a season like this. Determine how you can be an encouragement to him or her.
Thank God for being there, for hearing our desperate cries, for always caring about us.
Dear God: It’s a side of my experience that I absolutely loathe: the twist of racism that exists in my heart.
Dear God: Thank you for the promise, “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you” (1 Peter 5:7).
The Gift of Humility
This morning I listened to a radio preacher talk about David. How God had a sit-down with him and told him that Solomon would be the one to build His temple.
Dear God: You know I love words. It’s one of the things I shared with my father. Using words has provided a good living for me.
Dear God: Now the pastor’s gone to meddling. He’s talking about forgiveness and is asking us to write the names of those we have a hard time forgiving...
Dear God: I’m exhausted and feel like I’ve been fighting a war with one hand tied behind my back. I have misjudged my opponent.
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