A Streetcar Named Life

September 23, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Hail Thou Once Despised Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 139:1-2,4 – O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. (NLT)

My barely school-aged children decided to become independent in a big city when we had to ride a streetcar home. Instead of standing beside me, they spread out, taking whatever seats were available. So, they weren't paying attention at our stop and remained seated, looking out the windows. Panicked, I bellowed, "Everybody off the streetcar!"

To my astonishment, all the riders on the car began to get to their feet. Oh, dear! Canada: where nobody questioned authority, even when it wore a polka-dot dress with a loaf of bread under one arm.

"No, no!" I yelled again, "Just the children." I waved my hands to indicate "Sit down." Then, red-faced, my three followed me off the car, to a little derisive clapping.

What to do? I decided to give each child a code name from Greek literature: Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, and Menelaus. "When I say your code name, get up immediately and follow me, okay?" They agreed. The first time I used their codes, however, as we left the car, I heard one rider say to another, "Those poor kids, going through life with names like that!"

Thank heavens, we don't need any rituals or codes (or anyone or any institution) between us and our God. It is a common mistake to think that God is too busy to know or care about what happens to us, as though praying is one of those deals where we take a number and wait. But with God, the great I AM, there is just Him and us in an immediate and intimate relationship. Some of the best testimonials to this experience come from David the psalmist, who talked about his personal, intimate relationship with God, both when he was a shepherd boy and when he was king of Israel. God not only knows all the details of our story, someone said, He wrote it!

Yet still, in spite of all the evidence and our experience of God's loving care, often we neglect to turn to Him and listen for His answer. Answering us is what omnipotence is all about. Instead, we are anxious as we ride along on life's streetcar. Fear, someone said, is just low-grade atheism. Let us rather develop our trust and faith, for He has promised never to leave us or forsake us.

Prayer: Dear Father God, our hope is built on nothing less than Your promised assurance through Christ Jesus. We see Your grace abound toward us, and in faith, we walk a life of joy and peace with You in the sunshine and the psalm. You saw us plunged in deep distress and flew to our relief. For us You bore the shameful cross and carried all our grief. To You, our wise counsellor and guide, we give thanks and praise, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one, Rose. Be safe.

    This made me laugh out loud. Hilarious. Thanks Rose.

    I had a good laugh over this story Rose! Good application.

    Had to chuckle at this devotional. Well told, well said, good point.

    Thank you for the laugh at this time when we have too little to laugh at, and the wise words when we really need them.

    Hi Rose
    I loved your devotion today. How are the kids now? Loved the names you gave them.

    This is such a great devotional. I chuckled, I reflected on God’s Word and gave thanks for His provision. Somehow, I believe He chuckles right along with us. Keep writing!

    Rose, I hope you’re keeping all these devotions for your family to read, including those yet to come. They’re a treasure, both of family memories and biblical assurance and advice.

    I knew it, the minute I read about the Greek names given, it has to be written by Rose. What a delight to have God’s message enforced by you!
    Thank you for sharing.

    I loved your story. Needed that chuckle this morning. We all have so much to be thankful for, enough in these rough times. If only everyone had faith, there wouldn’t be so much stress. Blessings.

    I really enjoyed today’s story and the lovely prayer that went with it!
    Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to write this.
    You’ll never know how many hearts you have touched.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for my belly laugh this morning and your lovely devotional. My son had the special name of Pi. (don’t know how to do the Greek symbol on my iPad).
    Stay safe and healthy Rose.

    Dear Rose,
    This reminds me that God is all three: omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.
    He is all-powerful, everywhere, and knows everything about us.
    Thank you for the reminder.

    Dear Rose,
    Thanks for to-day’s devotional.
    From the title to the end you kept my attention.
    You made me smile but also led me to understand your “sermon”.
    Thanks again.

    Greetings Rose,
    Very cute story. I can just imagine the people’s expressions when you called out those Greek names for the children. We serve a wonderful Saviour who is ever ready to respond to our call and we need be ever thankful to Him.
    Blessings to you for your special writings.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you. What a wonderful story to relate (not so nice at the time!), with all we can take away from this as you have expressed. “You saw us plunged in deep distress and flew to our relief…”: what an apt and accurate statement.
    God bless and keep you!

    Good morning, Rose! I want to thank you for my morning chuckle – I am still laughing. It is amazing that you, and your children, can get your tongues around the pronunciation of those Greek names. Thank you also for your precious reminder that God is with us no matter where we are and answers our prayers even when the answer is “no”. May He continue to bless you in your work for our Daily Devotions.

    When we get off at the wrong stop it takes the Lord to set things right.

    Thank you, Rose, for a devotion of faith and daily help.
    Keep writing.

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