Vocation

How clear is our vocation, Lord, when once we heed Your call:

To live according to Your Word and daily learn, refreshed, restored,

That You are Lord of all and will not let us fall.

But if, forgetful, we should find Your yoke is hard to bear;

If worldly pressures fray the mind, and love itself cannot unwind

Its tangled skein of care;  our inward life repair.

We marvel how Your saints become in hindrances more sure;

Whose joyful virtues put to shame the casual way we wear Your name

And by our faults obscure Your pow’r to cleanse and cure.

In what You give us, Lord, to do, together or alone,

In old routines or ventures new, may we not cease to look to You,

The cross You hung upon– all You endeavored done.

~Fred Pratt Green, 1903-2000

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Lord, may we indeed look to You in these troubled times to see the depth of Your love for us as shown to us by the Cross. There You gave Your life for us as You bore the wrath of Your Father who turned His face from You when all He could see was mankind’s sins obscuring His beloved Son. The Holy forsaking the unholy mess that was You. And now, You come alongside us in our times of trouble and shoulder our griefs and our burdens willingly, faithfully, lovingly. Thank You, Lord Jesus. May Your strength be ours. May Your light be light in us and keep us ever faithful to You! In Your name we pray, Amen.

March 26 Don’t Cry

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25;  Luke 7:11-35;  Psalm 68:19-35;  Proverbs 11:29-31

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,

who daily bears our burdens.

Our God is a God who saves;

from the Sovereign Lord

comes escape from death.”

Psalm 68:19-20

* * * * *

“Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him.  As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.  And a large crowd from the town was with her.  When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still.   He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”  The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

Luke 7:  11-35

* * * * *

“Don’t cry”

our Lord says

when impossible

troubles

impede our sight

and cloud our hearts

with doubts and fear.

“Don’t cry,

but trust.

I, who can raise the dead-

was raised from the dead-

see the weariness

 feel your pain

your struggle

your grief.

“Don’t cry,

but lean on me.

I live to give you

life.”

Lord God, nothing is impossible for you and because you live we too live with all the possibilities of heaven.  You know our every need, feel our every hurt, hear our every sigh.  You are as close as our heartbeat.  Lord, today we bring to you all our burdens and our cares.  We pray, Lord, that You will come to our aid, to shoulder our burdens, to help us get through this time.  Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness to us and for hearing our prayer this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

March 9 God-Given Wings

image by stevematch81

image by stevematch81

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Look from the top” (Song of Solomon 4:8)

Crushing weights give the Christian wings.  It seems like a contradiction in terms, but it is a blessed truth.  David out of some bitter experience cried, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!  for then I would fly away, and be at rest.” (Psalm 55:6).  But before he finished this meditation he seems to have realized that his wish for wings was a realizable one.  For he says, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.”

The word “burden” is translated in the Bible margin, “What he (Jehovah) hath given thee.”  The saints’ burdens are God-given; they lead him to “wait upon Jehovah,” and when that is done, in the magic of trust, the “burden” is metamorphosed into a pair of wings, and the weighted one “mounts up with wings as eagles.”  From Sunday School Times

Lord God, whatever “burdens” we are given today, may we acknowledge that You are with us, to help carry them, to make them light, to make them work a “work” in us.  Thank you, Lord, that you have carried the heaviest burden of all–that of the sins of the whole world.  During this Lenten season may we remember your sacrifice and not take it for granted.  May we always give you thanks and praise for this great gift–this “burden.”  For Jesus’ sake, we pray, Amen.

February 6 On The Other Side Of Night

Photo by Kelly Sikemma

Photo by Kelly Sikemma

Exodus 23:14-25:40;  Matthew 24:29-51;  Psalm 30:1-12;  Proverbs 7:24-27

“I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up

and have not let my foes rejoice over me.

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help

and you have healed me.

O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;

you restored me to life from among those

who go down to the pit.

* * * * *

Sing praise to the Lord, O you his saints,

and give thanks to his holy name.

For his anger is but for a moment,

and his favor is for a lifetime.

Weeping may tarry for the night,

but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30: 1-5

* * * * *

Lord God, you brought me through the night.  You heard my prayers.  You saw my tears.  You gave me rest.  Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your grace and mercy.  I may not exactly feel joyful this morning, but I am at peace.  You are in control.  And for that I give you thanks and praise!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30