Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Our grey tabby cat, Joey Been, was so called as it truly seemed that he had been everywhere — a born adventurer. We never knew where we might find him next. One day, however, Joey and his whereabouts really took me by surprise.
It was just an ordinary winter's day, and I was driving along our rural road on my way into town when I kept hearing a strange, unaccountable noise emitting from my van. What is that? I kept asking myself. I've never heard a vehicle make such a strange noise. Slowing down in the hopes of pinpointing the source and identifying it was to no avail. In fact, the weird yowling seemed to increase as the speed decreased. Finally, I decided to pull over and pop the hood for a peek.
My surprise and shock when I opened the driver's door and hopped out, only to find Joey Been clinging frantically to the roof of my van, is to this day difficult to describe. How Joey had ever been able to stay atop that shiny, smooth metal roof as I was cruising along at 50 miles per hour on a bumpy back road is beyond me, but stay atop he did until I reached up and rescued my terrified, shaking, wild-eyed pet.
Today, or one day in the future, you or I may also find ourselves taking a ride in life which may not be of our own choosing. This ride may be one which seeks to strike confusion, fear, even terror into our hearts, one which truly causes us to wonder if we will survive it. War, death, sickness, homelessness, and natural disasters are all examples of life's rides which can and often do bring about such emotions. And yet, the psalmist has penned:
Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (NIV)
What a marvellous promise, one to cling to with tenacity when the rides of this life cause us to feel totally vulnerable and afraid, for God is indeed with us, an ever-present help in trouble — the very same God Who spoke to the Jewish exiles:
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)
We may not know what form those plans or that future may take, earthly or heavenly, but we can, by faith, choose to trust God in His mercy and goodness amidst our situation, knowing that as we do so, peace will replace fear, confusion, and even terror, and that we will indeed arrive, safe and sound, at exactly the right destination that God has prepared for us.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that in Your mercy and goodness, You recognize what frail and frightened creatures we are and can be. Thank You not only for the truth of Your written Word, but especially for the presence of Your living Word, Jesus Christ, in our lives, every minute of every day. Open our eyes that we might see Him. Open our ears that we might hear Him. Open our hearts that we might embrace Him, enabling us to rest in peace and safety amidst whatever ride in life may come our way today or in the future. In His wonderful name, we pray. Amen.