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Listen while you read: "The Church's One Foundation"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 93:4-5 – Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore. (ESV)
At the time of writing this in early March, I have been reeling with the shock of my sister-in-law's recent sudden, unexpected death that has left the family in a state of disbelief. She went to bed with a cold, never to get up. She was only 53 years old.
Added to my stress levels, we have suffered some storm damage to our fences. Uniquely, I am responsible for the repair and upkeep of the fences on both sides of the garden because we are on a corner. This is but small stuff in the greater scheme of things, but one of several calls on the finances at this time. Praise God, we can meet them.
Now in the interim, I have also had to arrange the travel for my mother-in-law who needs wheelchair and baggage assistance on our railways. It is a minefield of things to get wrong, or omit, and possibly mess up her travel. So, I feel the weight of responsibility, as we wait for the final resolution to the funeral arrangements, and my mother-in-law's impending stay for a few days around the funeral.
I have stuff to do, on top of the regular chores. Adding insult to injury, I am 65 at the weekend, but I find that I am booked on a course 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, training to be a certified archery coach. So, I will see my family only at the end of the day, and I sense that my blood-pressure is way up!
Earlier in the day, on the way to school with Sophia, my youngest daughter, I prayed out to God to accept my sacrifice of praise. I didn't do it from being in a good place or out of a sense of duty, but rather from a recognition of what has gone before in our relationship, that it did not matter where I was just now; He was worthy of my praise because He is always worthy to be thanked, praised, and worshipped.
So, in the middle of my stress, driving to school, God dropped a small bomb of peace that just exploded inside me. It was as if He said, It's okay to be pressured! Despite the choppy waves around you, peace: Come with me and see the view from on top of the waves.
Now, nothing has changed to my situation, except that I am held, comforted from above.
So, do not allow the issues and tasks to be as a hill to climb, and do not give in to the temptation to be resentful, as I often am tempted. Instead, with me, call out to God in praise of His holy faithfulness in what has gone before, in the hope and expectancy that whatever is happening just now, He will meet you at your point of need today — right now — boom!
Prayer: Praise You, Lord, that we are never left on our own. We ask You to accept our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for Your goodness to us in the middle of the storm. No matter what the outcome, Lord, raise us up to see the situation from Your perspective. We bring an offering, such as it is, of our trust and faith that we are worth more to You than money and the sacrifice of animals on a thousand hills. Lord, in the storm, please grant a hand up to all who ask today, a visitation of the Holy Spirit, blessing. May Your inner-peace reign – boom! Jesus, we bow down and worship You, who came to reconcile all who seek Your inner touch and Your holy face. Amen.
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Blessings and prayers your way, Rod. Be safe.
Take a deep breath. Love yourself. Let go and let God.
This is a tremendous testimony. Thank you very much for sharing it.
Thanks, Rod. Looking at life from the top of the waves, I needed that.
Thank you Rod for this great reminder. So sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. May God bless you and your family at this difficult time.
So sorry for your loss Rod. Our God is so amazing! He never forsakes us. May the peace of Christ always be with you. Blessings and stay safe.
Rod, I was sorry to read of the recent loss your family suffered. In the aftermath of such a crisis, all our other concerns are definitely magnified. How gracious God is to wrap us in the comfort of loving care.
Sorry for your loss. Congratulations on 65! It’s really not that bad. I sometimes feel like praise just bursts out like a flower bud opening. And I wonder where did that come from? Good luck with your fence building.
So sorry for your family’s loss. I can relate to the shock having lost my youngest son recently. A sore throat began his fight for survival. He lost his battle at just 49 years of age.
Hang on to God, at all times and He will sustain you.
Blessings and sincere condolences, Rod, to you and your family.
Oh, dear Rod,
I am so very sorry for the loss of Caroline’s sister. I know what a shock it is to lose someone so young. I know your faith is strong, but also that grief is very real. I don’t know how non-believers get through such times as these. Thank you for this heartfelt devotional. Keep on keeping on.
Love, in Him,
Your American friend from across the pond.
Many thanks for your devotional today. Yes, there sure are times when we feel everything is happening at once in our lives, but our amazing Lord is there to guide us through when we call upon Him. Faith in Him brings astounding results.
Blessings as you seek the Lord’s guidance through the present occurrences in your daily life.
Good afternoon Rod. Thank you for your devotional. I remember being at that exact spot – severe depression post organ transplant. I was spiraling downward and knew it. I prayed to our Lord to take away the anxiety. I still had to live through the recovery and side-effects of the drugs I am now on for life.
The Lord answered my prayers and for the first time in my life I am now able to live calmly, even in the face of adversity. The Lord has comforted me from above. He holds me in the palm of his hands.
Thank you so much. May God bless you richly.
I read your devotional this morning online and I just wanted to say Thank you for your words of encouragement. These most very certainly are “Stressful” days for all of us and the reminder that we never have to face these stresses alone is very comforting, so thank you. I also googled and came across your writing “Still Watching.” I too love rainbows. They have been a comfort, and A great reminder of God’s unfailing love and presence with us in some very trying times in my life.
Take care and keep safe.
Thanks, Rod, for a good reminder.
My condolences to you and your family on the death of your sister-in-law. We have had so many unexpected deaths in our little town in the past year, everyone is reeling. You can’t help but wonder who is next.
Having access to the Lord’s peace within us is keeping me sane lately too with everything going on. l suspect the older l get the more valuable l am going to find His peace amidst it all. It is the tiredness that l find is hardest. But He is also our strength as well as our peace in fact, He is our everything for which l am truly thankful.
And by the way Happy Birthday
First off, I very sorry to hear of the loss of your sister-in-law. My condolences to you and your wife and children.
Secondly, happy belated birthday!
Did you pass your archery exam?
I have probably been in self-isolation since you wrote this in March because of Covid 19. I have COPD, (bad lungs). We shut things down very quickly here in Canada, in fact, there is still not much of a change in how we are doing things. A friend brings me groceries every week.
And it’s snowing today, May 9th.
I thank you very much for your encouraging words. I trust in our Lord and His amazing Holy Spirit and I know I am never alone.
May God bless you and your family Rod and grant you His peace. Stay safe and healthy.
Good morning Rod Marshall, things can be overwhelming, I understand fully and am glad to share situations as such with someone like you, who understands the weight and the pain of grief, but I feel you now can chuckle in the morning, as stuff accumulates that needs to be done.
I suddenly lost my husband of over 40 years a year ago. Life is not the same. His business caused stress. I was fixing something every week. This stuff was wearing me thin. Then, on a raining day, half the power went off. Calling the utility company, they recommended an electrician. I’ve no money for an electrician, Lord! I met the guy at the breaker box on the garage in the dark of night, in the rain. He probed, and concluded, call the utility company, the meter is off.
No charge. I wept. Thank you, Lord. I never expected this easy of a fix.
Like you, it was a bomb revelation, He has things in control. Don’t sweat anything.
Thanks, Rod, for a peek into your life. Sometimes I think the devotionals are more about the writer, the situation will be so drawn out, but God has revealed compadres in like situations. That is why I continue to read PresbyCan. We’re all looking to be wrapped in the arms of our Lord in the most quizzical of situations.
God’s peace be with you Rod, through this stressful season of your life.
I am so very, very sorry at the passing of your sister-in-law. Losing a loved one is difficult. I pray that God will hold all of you in the palm of His hand and give you His peace and comfort your hearts and souls.