Monday, May 18, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Are You Coming To Jesus Tonight"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 10:29 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. (ESV)

In the present gridlock, we are coping well-ish as a family in the comfort of home. Together, we allocate time to work through chores, exercise, and education. I had not valued our privileges as much before the lockdown as I do now, looking forward to the end.

I miss church; I miss the joy of communal worship and praise. Even as a senior wallflower, I miss the melee of after-church, as the young socially active rush about connecting and networking, oblivious to the need to set down church before lunch to be ready for the week ahead.

God has shown me that our church is my community's spiritual home — a place where I know that I can soak up God's presence to get through the week ahead. I can rest in His presence for a moment. Possibly unwittingly, I have been content to turn up and be reliant upon the preparation of others, those who have previously pressed into God to hear from Him for our congregation for the day. Now that that has been taken away, I feel spiritually diminished and exposed for being negligent. Yes, we have online sermons and prayer groups, but it is just not quite the same to connect with God.

So, I ask God: what is going on? This new normal is not normality for me. Like a mobile device, I need to be refilled, recharged, and reconnected.

Life in family lockdown does not give one much alone space. I have to time-share the office. Cast out, I make myself busy during the day with garden chores, do-it-yourself projects, cooking, shopping, house chores, and assisting in the education of the children.

Yesterday, I steeled myself to free a fledgling great tit trapped in the netting that is positioned to keep the pigeons off our growing cherry tree. As a boy, I would have been upset. Praise God for once for my age, experience, and wisdom as I held this small body warm in my hands and untangled its head and beak. Then, gently, I cut its feet and body free. I gave it some water as I held it safe and sound, and eventually having rested, it flew away.

Maybe, just maybe, in the busyness of my family's doing, this was God's way of getting my attention as a call to focus on Him. He alone can set me free from the snares and concerns of this world and the impasse of meeting at the present time.

Connecting with God's love is irrespective of place, time, or circumstance, because our God holds us in the palm of His hand. He cares for us whether we are alone or together, so that we can be assured of His ability to set us free because we are all one in Him.

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You are our guardian in times of anxiety or trouble. You are our place of safety away from the wiles and snares of this world. Lord, during this time of being away from loved ones, our communities, and our support networks, remind us that we are safe in the palm of Your hand. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing these comforting words, Rod.

    Very nicely done Rod!
    Keep on being blessed.

    Thanks, Rod, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    A very meaningful devotion to start another week of our new “normal”. Thank you.

    Thank you for a moving devotional today, Rod. From the scripture right on through.

    Great post Roderick, you eloquently put to words how so many of us feel. God bless you and your family!

    A good one, Rod. Thank you. So was your previous devotional.
    Stay Healthy.

    You are a wise person, gifted with insight, and an excellent and concise writer.
    Thank you.

    Thank you Rod. Great message once again, and a great reminder.
    Wishing you a blessed week.

    Dear Rod, Thank you for a very, helpful inspiring devotional. I think many of us are feeling much like you. Blessings
    (Ont. Canada)

    Dear Rod,
    Thank you for your honest sharing of your feelings and encouraging us all to stay close to God and to our own feelings at this time. Many blessings.

    Good morning Roderick
    A good devotional today, these are difficult times indeed, and sometimes it is the little things which make us realize what it important.
    Thank you for writing.

    Thanks, Rod. We do miss gathering together to worship, don’t we? My church has a large auditorium and small attendance during the summer as many members are winter residents. So we were able to resume services yesterday with plenty of space for social distancing. It was a blessing!

    Our church uses zoom to keep connected although the host (the minister) had trouble with it, some of our faces showed, some not. I think so many churches are using zoom. Recently we had over 50 computers connected.
    It still is not like being at church although May continue this way. A few do not have a computer and somehow connect by phone.

    So well put Rod. Many of us share your thoughts and feelings. Thank you.
    Texas is beginning to “open up.” Texans are not going to be told to stay home too long although I have been surprised that many have done just as told. As of last week, Governor Abbott started the “reopening.” We are blessed with a good bit of land on which to roam. Since my husband is not a “sitter,” it is a good thing to have room to roam.
    Again, thank you for expressing the thoughts of so many.

    Rod, how similar our situations around the globe have become as we contend with this common invader. Here in Canada, there are millions of tulips blooming for us to view virtually. Two teachers and one student make full use of the internet to continue the education experience.
    We miss our faith community and even Zoom gatherings pale in comparison. God has laid out a blank canvas for us to design and our imaginations are challenged.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Hello Rod Marshall, I truly enjoyed your devotional for Monday, May 18, 2020.
    I just love reading about each writer’s personal experiences and how they interpret them in the light of God’s word.
    I have been reading PresbyCan Can Daily Devotionals for approx. the last 5 years and the personal experiences that people share in their devotionals really do impact the people that read them.
    Thank you for blessing us this day with your devotional.
    (Ontario Canada)

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