Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 6:14-16 – So stand strong with the belt of truth tied around your waist, and on your chest wear the protection of right living. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows that come from the Evil One. (ERV)
In the early days of the Internet, there was a handwritten letter in my mailbox. I hadn't seen anyone put it there, but I opened it without much thought. Then, like an icy deluge, its words poured over me, accusing, condemning, judging — and anonymous! Talk about "the burning arrows that come from the Evil One"!
My picture had recently been in the local paper with a small blurb about something that I'd helped with in the community. The letter said that I had no friends, that at the pool where I exercised, everyone hated me and thought that I was a fool. It went on in detail, like the bullying and abuse that we sometimes hear about on social media. There was a day when I might have believed the things in this letter and let it make me think that my life was useless. But with God in my life, I was assured that it had meaning and purpose, and due to God's grace, I had nothing on my conscience to worry about. I began to pray for the unknown writer of the letter, that their hand be stayed from ever writing another to anyone else.
Such a letter could destroy a person's life. It was then that I remembered the saying, Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I went down to a print shop and made seventy copies. Then I went to the pool, from which the writer had told me to stay away, and handed out that letter. People were horrified, and the reaction at the pool was entirely supportive. Later, sitting talking in the sauna with others, their wholehearted acceptance had moved so far along that jokes were even starting up. By then, my making the whole thing public had relegated those accusations to the unimportant size that they really were — a mere blip. Yet, I had heard about some shy, lonely souls taking their own life when sent just such a letter. God was in it. Later, someone from the office told me that only one person had complained, saying that I was a disruption, "Probably because handwriting can be traced," she said. "The person seemed pretty nervous."
What do we do when the storms of life get so personal? Living the Christian life has been described as Pray, trust God, clean house, and help others. Someone said that Faith is spelled, A.C.T.I.O.N. We have faith only when we act on it. May such a living faith be ours today.
Isaiah 33:21 – The Lord will be our Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross, that no enemy ship can sail upon. (NLT)
Prayer: Dear Father, You impart wisdom from heaven to us when we ask. Help us to act on it when it is given. Thank You especially for the breastplate of righteousness, which can handle all the darts that the enemy might throw. Help us to stand. Amen.