Monday Morning Devotion-January 15, 2024
Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
*from August 2018
A little history lesson today! When World War II ended in Europe and the veterans were heading home, Doris Day recorded a song that became the unofficial homecoming theme for many of the vets in 1945.
"Sentimental Journey" (music by Les Brown and Ben Horner and lyrics by Bud Green) was Doris Day's first #1 hit. If you recall these words, your parents or grandparents probably sang them to you. I'm sure you aren't old enough to remember them personally.
Gonna take a sentimental journey
Gonna set my heart at ease
Gonna make a sentimental journey
To renew old memories.
So, what's up with that Jim? Why this for a devotional topic? Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because TLS and I just celebrated a little milestone in our lives. I say little because timewise it didn't represent a great big chunk of time, just six months, but experientially it is much bigger. It's probably a period that we will take a sentimental journey back to many times in the coming years.
On January 31, 2024, we will celebrate six-years with that little blonde-haired, blue-eyed bombshell having exploded into our lives. Yes, our lives were dramatically changed when our two-year old granddaughter (now 8- and one-half years old), little Ellee came to live with us.
This was something that surpassed even our wildest imaginations. A life-changing event that we entered with some---well a lot on my part---reservations. It has been an occurrence that has caused us---at times---to scratch our heads and ask: "Why us Lord?" Then right behind that will come the realization that we have been truly, unconditionally blessed. The Lord did not hold back when he entrusted this little package into our care. He gave us a truly big responsibility. Suddenly it dawned on us. "Hey this is not about us. There is a much larger reason we have been entrusted with this…uh, gift."
Certainly, it was important for us to pray…a lot, for guidance in this situation. It is important for you to do the same no matter what is going on in your life. Good times. Rocky times. God wants you to come to Him in prayer.
Dr. John Piper (www.pipersnotes.com) says: "Think about this for a moment. God's will is that we, His creatures, ask Him for things. And it is not just His will, it is His delight. He loves to be asked for things. Proverbs 15-8. 'The prayer of the upright is his delight.'
As he says in our scripture lesson today: 'It will come to pass that before they call. I will answer and while they are still speaking I will hear.'"
Think about that. God already has the answer. How are you going to find out what that is if you don't ask Him, i.e. if you don't pray.
If ever there was a man burdened with tremendous, heavy responsibilities the execution of which could have grave consequences it was President Abraham Lincoln. He said: "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day." (The First Church on the Net).
Piper pointed out that; "God is always the Giver (Acts 17:25) That is what He loves to be. Getters look needy. Givers look self-sufficient. So, God ordains prayer because He wants us to see Him as gloriously self-sufficient and ourselves as totally needy. In Psalm 50-15 He says: 'Call upon me in the day of trouble. I shall rescue you and you will honor Me.' God answers our call for help so that we get the rescue, and He gets the honor. And Jesus says: 'Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.' " (John 14:13)
Whether we knew it or not at the time it happened in our lives, with the addition to our household was an answer to prayer. Sometimes we have to think hard about that because we do offer up a lot of prayers to God. In our household we believe in prayer. It lifts our spirits. Prayer sustains us and helps us through tough times. And we can look back and see how it has been the basis for lots of good times.
So, how did it contribute to our current surprising situation in which a granddaughter came to live with us? Well, the underlying premise that supports all our prayers is that the Lord's will be done. Obviously, what happened here was His will. We never could have dreamed it up ourselves. And we are finding out that it is true that the Lord never gives you more than you can handle because what he asks you to do---if you are faithful and accepting--- He will help you do.
Colossians 4:2 says, "Devote yourselves to prayer." That means that prayer is a regular part of your life, not an infrequent visitor. You are taking steps, by praying, to work against distractions and hindrances that get in the way of His will.
And when you pray regularly, He will reveal to you those things that He already had the answers to. Then, prepare yourself for some delightful sentimental journeys.
Prayer: Lord thank you for all those sentimental journeys that are a gift from you and provide many happy times in our lives. Amen!