Listen to this devotional:
Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. (KJV)
Jeremiah 29:11 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)
The most beautiful and interesting specialty papers start out as messy, wet clumps of mismatched and shredded papers, bits and pieces of items such as seeds and twigs, yarn and tin foil — all blended into a scary-looking pulp that resembles something one would want to toss quickly and gingerly into the trash. In the final process, the pulp is pressed smooth and flat, and dried thoroughly enough to be written on and admired.
The paper-making process is illustrative of our sometimes seemingly pointless lives. So often, our day resembles this pulpy mess and the process of being pressed and moulded into the material that God uses for His message to the world. A typical day can easily consist of various events, such as a grandchild's sweet toothless grin; misunderstandings with a family member, followed by weeping; sharp-tempered co-workers; an unexpected hug from an unaffectionate son; pressure to pay overdue bills; the arrival in the mail of a long-awaited package "certain to make us look younger"; and seemingly endless, mind-numbing housework. And all the while, we're experiencing the pressing and drying time of waiting for answers to concerns we have brought before God, wondering if He has actually heard us.
When we encounter a long series of days that render us weary because there are more challenges and mundane tasks than delights, it is easy to wonder whether there truly is a point. Considering that God has ordered our steps, I can imagine Him neatly laying out our "pulpy mess", pressing it firmly between heaven and earth, and drying out our "page of life." Then, He permanently writes a specific message of hope, peace, and blessed purposefulness directly from His heart concerning our valuable existence. Upon completion, each page is added to our living storybook, to be referenced by us and others. Our book is ultimately added to the holy saga of Himself and all His holy servants. This is truly a magnificent work of pure beauty!
Prayer: Father God, we desperately need to feel Your love and acceptance as we manoeuvre through our often difficult and seemingly pointless lives. We need to know in our hearts that every day of each of our lives is necessary and precious. Please continue to remind us of our eternal worth and the wonderful plans You have for each one of us on earth and in heaven. Thy will be done. Amen.