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.
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Dear Lynn. Thank you for sharing your message. This is exactly what I needed today.
God’s blessings upon you.
I love your prayer Lynne, and also the fact that you stopped to investigate, and rescued your little friend. God bless. God is SO good.
Lynne, your animal stories always bring a smile to my face! Also, a great application in facing the challenges of everyday life. Thanks for sharing. Blessings
Dear Lynne – loved this devotional (of course I AM a fellow cat lover). I think God kept Joey Been safe so that you would have this experience to prompt the writing of this devotional! Love the prayer. I so need to be reminded to search for God with eyes, ears and heart.
Thanks Lynne for this comforting devotional. Good to be reminded that no matter what we go through, Christ is always with us. BTW, your cat story reminded me of some adventures cats who owned me engaged in. Of course, you’ve heard the saying, “Dogs have family, but cats have staff.” Blessings.
Oh my Lynne, I can just picture that poor cat, how on earth he ever managed it I don’t know.
Cats are survivors and so must we be, not swept away by the unexpected., as you have so clearly pointed out.
Your words are a wonderful comfort to my soul at this time. You have worked with the Holy Spirit in this to give me my text for my Sunday message. I will mention those from the Bible who had the earth fall from under their feet. Then I will point them to the promises of our God to be ever with us with Jesus as our rock.
God bless you for sharing this life story with such valuable applications for us all.
Good morning, Lynne,
Always your devotionals give me cause for thought and prayer. I have been reading “The Message,” Eugene Peterson’s editing of The Bible. I like it and his approach; however, the familiar and loved verses learned through the years do not appear as the familiar and loved verses. It is often a jolt to realize that I have just read a favorite passage and didn’t even know it.
It is that way with the scripture you quoted today. Always something to give us thought and pause.
Thanks for your faithful writing.
Dear Lynne Phipps,
When I had read only the first line of your devotional today, I thought this had to be Lynne Phipps and scrolled to the bottom, and sure enough.
.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)
It is my prayer that displaced and homeless persons will be enabled by God to cling to the Lord and to life until they are rescued.
May Christian persons rescue and act and teach in loving kindness, for your sake, and for their time and eternal welfare. In Jesus name, Amen.
Another good word Lynne.
I figured it was you as soon as I started to read. Psalm 46:1 is one of my favorite Psalms and I cite it quite often.
Thank you for writing.
I am so glad Joey Been was safe!!! He is a blessed little creature!
My comment on Joey Been is “I loved it.” I could ‘see’ that terrified wee guy so vividly, and in some ways, understand the feelings he most definitely had.