Wednesday, June 22, 2022
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Matthew 16:3 – And in the morning, "It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening." You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. (ESV)

Recently, we had a high-pressure weather system over the United Kingdom. It is a good time to set our barometers when there is a reliable, consistent pressure over the mainland.

I understand that mercury barometers are highly collectable. I can remember the old mercury one with a tiny scale that we had at school in the 1960s. These days, ordinary folk have neither the time, money, nor the space for an expensive antique barometer. So, I find out the upcoming weather and sometimes the air pressure from a forecast map for the day from my computer or mobile phone.

If the air pressure is 1050 millibars, then we are in for a serious heat wave. If it is 950 millibars, we are in for stormy weather. Usually, 970 millibars will bring winds and rain, and hot, sunny weather arrives with anything more than 1020 millibars.

Jesus used the illustration of the signs of the sky as a measure of what was happening with the weather — an everyday experience in a rural setting. He used this image to highlight and contrast the unwillingness of the contemporary religious cliques — Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees — to recognize the signs of the kingdom of God that were displayed and self-evident in His ministry.

Recently, I found myself too tired to care about anything but rest. The mess that I had just let go of was beyond my capacity to engage with because it was a step too far. The next day, when I was rested and physically restored, I cleared it all up.

However, this episode of extreme tiredness made me think about my dialogue with God. If I am too tired to talk with God, maybe I need to sleep — and I believe that that is fine with God! However, when not exhausted, if I have not bothered to talk with God, and I rush off into the day, am I not unlike those leaders: ignoring the signs?

When through His grace, I remember to look to Jesus, God quietens and restores my soul and prods me to see the signs of the kingdom, as I am prepared to give Jesus the time and lordship over me.

If there is no space for dialogue with God in the day and the lack does not prompt a longing in our hearts and souls, what does that say about our relationship with Jesus?

We all need to identify the signs in our own lives. Are we only slightly bothered or "souled out" to allow Jesus' kingdom to reign in us? If so, it's time to make space for dialogue with God.

Prayer: Lord, we are truly sorry for not bending the knee to see the signs. You watch over us, waiting for us to identify the signs of Your lack in us. We rejoice in Your love, mercy, and grace, in and through the love of Jesus. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the wise words, Rod.

    Thanks, Rod, for challenging us to action.

    Rod, thank you for this reminder to check our relationship barometer with Jesus.

    Thank you, Rod, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    Always glad to read and spot from the reading your contributions.
    Good Stuff!

    Greetings Rod and many thanks for another very mindful devotional. How important it is for us to make time in our lives to stop and talk with our loving Lord and give Him gratitude for always being there for us. Blessings for these very interesting and special devotional writings you do.

    HI Rod,
    As I read today’s devotional, I was remembering when I first started reading Presbyterian Canada Daily Devotionals. You were working and as I remember, not very happy. Now I read, “Recently, I found myself too tired to care about anything bug rest. The mess that I had just let go…” and then your dialogue with God. Makes me smile to think you are now in a different and happier place.

    God’s day, Rod:
    When I first read this verse decades ago, I was amazed to think of people in Jesus’ day, and not in a maritime place know this weather warning:
    “Red in the morning,
    Sailors take warning.
    Red at night,
    Sailor’s delight.”

    Hi Rod.
    I had a pastor who told me that before he got out of bed in the morning, he talked to God first thing. It didn’t have to be long (depending on what had to be done that morning).
    I have started doing the same thing every morning. It feels so good to be able to speak with God and ask Him what His will for me is and for guidance through the Holy Spirit to do it.
    God bless you dear Rod and your family.

    Thank you so very much for very special devotional.
    My sister, were she not in Heaven, always doing what the Lord had for her to do.
    Thank you for the way you share and I always look forward to the next story for spiritual growth, and as I have heard for years, we need to learn one new thing each day.
    God bless you in many special and surprising ways as you minister for Him.

    Glad your energy and understanding has returned now, Rod. Thanks for sharing your faith and understanding today. Helps me. Blessings on your writing.

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