With Faith And Gratitude

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Search Me, O God"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 11:9-10 – And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (NLT)

I have worked for the past fifteen years in the justice system, hands-on as a social worker, speaking with offenders in their living units and trying to assist them to untangle the situations in which they found themselves. Sometimes, it was providing contact information for community resources. Often, it was discussing their recovery from addictions and their plans to move forward, clean and sober. Though some went on to new lives, many unfortunately returned to their old ways. I tried to take solace in the fact that as Alcoholics Anonymous states, We are in the efforts business, not the results business. However, after such a period of time, the cumulative effect of all these experiences had begun to take its toll on me. I lost my faith in God and stopped going to church. I started to see each day as an endless black hole, and decided that the job had stained my soul irrevocably, to the point where I would never again feel joy.

When I reached my lowest point, I returned to my faith and decided to pray for help. Not convinced at that time that anything would change, but feeling as if it were worth a try, I did my knocking on the door. Then, I decided to return to church. As with my return to faith, it was a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, going through the motions to get dressed and show up. However, after a short time, the door was opened, and I felt a call to participate in the music liturgy. These days, I am a member of the choir and even act occasionally as cantor, singing the weekly psalm.

I have also started to notice the daily miracles that occur in my life. This morning, I knocked my glasses under the bed. Both my wife and I looked everywhere to no avail. I stopped, took a deep breath, and then prayed about it. I then walked back into the bedroom, and there were my glasses sitting on the bed, a place that I had searched thoroughly.

Since returning to faith, the days are brighter now. Each early morning as I am out with my two Shih Tzu dogs, I say a prayer of gratitude to God for the day that He has given me.

Let us all resolve to keep on knocking and maintain a strong faith and sense of gratitude, no matter how dark the future looks.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, hear us knocking and open the door, so that we may rejoice in Your grace. Through Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Andrew DeShaw <andr.ewe@hotmail.com>
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    What a heart-warming devotional.

    Thank you, Andrew, for your testimony.

    Great testimony, Andrew. Praying for your journey.

    Amen Andrew. God is good.

    What a heart-warming devotional, Andrew. Blessings to you!

    Thank you, Andrew, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thank you, Andrew for sharing.
    Keep the faith,

    A great example of how God really can lift us out of darkness. Thanks for sharing and may God continue to bless you, Andrew!

    I am glad you’re back! Your writing is meaningful with enough detail to make it personal and interesting. Thank you. Happy new year.

    Dear Andrew,
    Thank you so much for sharing your faith journey in such a beautiful and honest way. Your story will stay with me as an encouragement going forward.

    I am very familiar with this wonderful text – and its answer; that my only son find his way back to the faith he once had, grow and learn and find peace and joy due to that change. How blessed I feel as I type these words and know my answer came back a hundredfold.

    Thank you, Andrew. Interestingly I have just read about a book by Terry Looper called “Sacred Pace.” Mr. Looper founded a company but seems to have experienced a similar situation as yours.
    Your devotional is appreciated.

    Dear Andrew,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, came back to Christ very similarly.
    It is such a fresh feeling to know we are back where we are supposed to be; walking with Jesus and being led by His Holy Spirit. Thank God we’re loved by Him.
    May He continue to bless you always.

    Andrew, thank you for the piece you have contributed to Presbycan. It is encouraging to read the story of your life that you have written for others to read.
    I enjoyed your story about the ‘lost’ glasses. Often when I cannot find something I have prayed for God’s help and amazingly the lost item has been found – and I am grateful to God!

    Greetings Andrew,
    Thank you for writing this very touching devotional and expressing what you went through in carrying out work related duties and the toll it took on you personally. So happy to hear that you returned to church and worship of our faithful God. He is always there for us and ready to answer our “knock”. Blessings to you, and may you ever continue to receive and rejoice with each miracle the Lord provides.

    Hi Andrew,
    I read your devotional this morning, good stuff.
    I am one of those guys from the prison system who turned his life around…. after 20 yrs. of trying.
    I am in the midst of attempting to open a treatment center geared towards bridging the gap between incarcerated addicts in custody and treatment facility. I am sure you are aware of all the red tape that keeps guys out of treatment facilities when they most desperately need and want it; clean and incarcerated.

    Dear Andrew,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. The world needs people like you who are there for people who need support. I can understand how difficult it is to try to help people and they are not at the point where they can hear you and follow through. AA is an amazing program but if people aren’t ready they cannot hear. Al Anon helped me immensely at one point in my life and I wished I had known about it earlier but after many years I realized you get there when you are ready. I had a friend in AA, and I would take her to some speaker Al Anon meetings, but she didn’t realize how much she needed both programs. After about 5 years and not because of me, she ended up going to Al anon and she called to let me know she understood what I had been saying and was sorry she hadn’t gone earlier. I told her as long as I helped her know that there was such a help out there she would get there when she was ready. Many years later she knows that is true. God helps us get there when we are open to change and to doing the work that we have to do. Only we can change which may provide the stimulus for others to change also. I am glad you knocked on the door. May God bless you.

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