Saturday, January 7, 2012
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is A Green Hill Far Away"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 17:5 – He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (ESV)

In 2011, life gave me a little squeeze, to find out what is really inside, where and what my priorities are, when push comes to shove.

I have been busy both at home and at work. At home, with the addition of two toddlers, whilst being a great joy and pleasure for a maturing father, they are nevertheless all-consuming for Caroline and I, so we find it hard to find the time for us. At work, with the closure of one of the university's campuses, and the arrival of a large proportion of students to my site, I find myself under a new review, the third in twelve months!

With all this continued uncertainty hanging over me, I have been getting depressed. Apparently, it became obvious, because once, Caroline even suggested that I go to the doctor for help. However, I praise God that when I called on Him as I found myself on the threshold of being sucked down the plughole of despond again, He answered my prayers and plugged the drain. I am aware, too, that others must have been praying, for which I am thankful, because intercession really does matter.

There were no shining lights or angels, no instant change. He simply reminded me of what He has done for me in the past in seemingly impossible situations that were outside of my control. I remembered a time when I was unemployed with a small child and I was down to my last ten pounds in the bank, with a mortgage, and then I "found" the right job for me. It was exactly what was needed for what happened next. I am clear that it was this insight and grace given to me over the course of a day, and not my will, which delivered me back into my right heart and mind, putting my faith in my God above how others plan. All praise be to God who inhabits our praises and our beings: at least the parts we are willing to give into His care!

So as God reminded me that He has a plan for each of us, it encouraged me that I do not have to be in control all the time, because we cannot plan for the unforeseen. As Christians, we must do what we can and then submit it to God. As I returned my trust to His will for me, He drew me back from the precipice, and I found His inner peace waiting for me.

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

Prayer: Lord, forgive us because we have erred again. Whenever You come to us, You clear away the fog and bring inner peace. Please direct our paths and instill in us today Your God-with-us by the Holy Spirit, so that no matter how things appear, we may know that when the living gets tough, You are with us always, willing to make a difference. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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