daily devotion for march 30, 2020
Sunshine and no rain – well happy Monday. I am going to just type some random thoughts, if that is OK? The first one is, I’m feeling fine – keep in mind that you have to look at me (fairly up close) for about 8 minutes. I just had a birthday – this face is no longer young. I am feeling fine. Secondly, several of you have told me that you have sent a letter to Grand Victorian: 3495 McFarland Rd, Rockford, Il 61114. I believe that we need about 48 more. I have not written mine, so let’s say that the mission work week begins today! Third, all church activities, studies, and gatherings are shuttered until the end of April. Please don’t read those as cold words on a page. I am heartbroken, as well as not surprised. The isolation is stretching – and I care about how you are doing. Please reach out to me or to someone else in our church family. We care. We love you. You matter and how you are feeling matters. Fourthly, the April devotion booklet will be finished today. Run off and made available for those of you who don’t have email – you don’t know it, because you don’t have email – but you will get a call to let you know that. There are some people who could use a partner in this journey – if you would be willing to make calls a couple of times a week – and aren’t currently, please respond to this email. Fifthly, we collected almost $14,000 last week from you faithful folks who sent in your giving envelopes or dropped them off on Wednesday. Thank you, thank you. We will continue that drop off this Wednesday. The exact times will be out tomorrow morning – you may pick up your devotion at the same time…those of you who do not have a computer (as those who do can read it here) – but of course, you don’t know this because you don’t have a computer! Pray with me…
Dear Lord, you are helping us to find creative ways to communicate. We are having drive-by conversation in our front yard, dinner parties by zoom call, facetime coffee dates, and you seem to be encouraging us to hand write letters. May every word we put on paper return a blessing to you. Please hear our prayers for:
Read I Kings 19:2-4. Elijah was terrified. He was one of the holiest of prophets in the Old Testament. He was there on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured. He was a man of deep faith. God loved him dearly but he lived through chaos and rough, rough days. Yet in this passage we read that Elijah was depressed. God had called Elijah to confront an evil king even though others who had done that had been put to death. Read I Kings 18:18-46 – you can’t make this stuff up!
So, Elijah ran (no travel ban or shelter in place order). At some point, Elijah began to think that his life would never change. Better days were not coming. Can you relate? I can. When I heard (what I knew was coming) that the end of April was our new date … the reality of that hit me. But God … I pray that you will say those words about your situation also. But God refused to take Elijah’s life. Instead he sent someone to encourage him to get up and eat. The message wasn’t – God is going to fix this - stop this - change that. He said, “Maintain your routine, eat something, for the journey is going to be long.” Elijah ate, walked, prayed, and continued to complain (oh – I love Elijah). But God listened patiently.
We will look back on these days and remember. Pain and darkness will not last forever. We are learning about ourselves. About our faith. Finding those pockets of fear and struggle. I encourage you to listen for the sound of God’s whisper. The Lord is with you and will never leave you.
Call me if you want to talk. 815-543-4186. With love, Pastor Pam