Monday Morning Devotion-January 24, 2022
*first published November 16, 2015
Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Psalm 105.4
Each day has challenges of its own. No two days are exactly alike therefore each challenge that we face is different from the ones that came before it. Oh, it may be very similar to one(s) you have faced before. The way to overcome the challenge may be the same as the one before. But it is different, if only because it comes on a different day or time as the one that appeared to be similar.
It may be like: "Oh no. Here we go again. I thought I solved that problem. Now I have to go through this all over.
A personal example that comes to my mind is the "Saga of the Balky Fridge." OK, if I were a short-story writer, which I am not, that would be the title of the frustrating little scenario that was taking place in our kitchen.
For some time our refrigerator would, intermittently, make a funny noise. It kinda sounded like, well, the only thing I can think of would be if you held a piece of cardboard in a fan so that it was constantly being hit by the fan blades. Anyway, this would last for 10 to 15 seconds or less. It was loud and unpredictable. You never could tell when it would occur. Just very annoying.
Well, annoying became: "Hey we gotta do something about this" when the fruits and lettuce in one our drawers inside the refrigerator started freezing. So we had the repair-man come out and his diagnosis, after consulting with the experts at headquarters was that the "Mother-board" (whatever that is) needed to be replaced. So he did that.
Freezing stopped. Noise stopped. Problem solved, right? "Not so fast my friend." (as my friend Lee Corso would say).
One night TLS (that's the Lovely Susette for those of you who may be new to these devotions) noticed that the fruit drawer was freezing up again so she adjusted the temperature. Guess what? Yep, now the noise is backÐand oh yeah, the fruit is still freezing. Been there, done that.
So that's why a challenge might seem the same as one before but it is different. What is different about this particular one is that it is it not a problem-solved when we thought it was taken care of. And the real threat hanging over our heads is that the repairman might return to re-fix it during the football game on Saturday. So the danger that I might have to deal with is that I might be distracted instead of fully concentrating on watching the game. And, hey, it was the homecoming game as well.
What would you rather have frozen fruit and refrigerator noise or un-interrupted football game watching. Don't ask me to make that choice. :)
Here's the main thing to keep in mind. The more challenging our day the more power the Lord places at our disposal. He knows what challenges each day will contain and He empowers us accordingly.
Now here's the beautiful thing about that. "The degree to which He strengthens us depends on the difficulty of our circumstances and our willingness to depend on Him for help." (Sarah Young; "Jesus Calling")
In Deuteronomy 33 God gives Moses encouragement to pass along to his people when they are facing challenges. To the tribe of Asher God said to tell him "Let him be favored by his brothers and let him bathe his feet in oil." Bathing feet in oil was a sign of prosperity.
Then He adds: "The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days." They would be equal to any challenge. No day could bring about defeat because their strength was being supplied by God.
The NIV Bible elaborates: "Moses' words declare that God is our refuge, our only true security. How often do we entrust our lives to other things---perhaps money, career, a noble cause, or a lifelong dream? But our only true refuge is the eternal God, who always holds out his arms to catch us when the shaky supports that we trust collapse and fall. No storm can destroy us when we take refuge in him. Those without God, however, must forever be cautious. One mistake may wipe them out. Living for God in this world may look like risky business. But it is the godless who are on shaky ground. Because God is our refuge, we can dare to be bold."
Often we struggle by ourselves forgetting that God able to help us fight our battles. But God gives us just what we need. He is not going send us a repairman for every appliance in our house when all we need fixed is the refrigerator.
Often our challenge involves someone else. Maybe we have been hurt by something said or done. During these times it is good to remember that God can take the unfairness, the hurtful things in our life and turn them to good things. Often our greatest triumphs come on the heels of our biggest hurts.
One of my previously published books is called "In the Big Inning God Created Baseball." It was written during a time when I was broadcasting baseball games on radio and was heavily involved with the sport I grew up playing as a child.
Receiving initial rejections I put the book aside and forgot about it. I got involved in other projects. The challenge to get it published was too, uhÐchallenging.
Fast forward to a different time in which the publishing industry has changed making it easier to publish your own books. To make a long story short I did this and The baseball book has gone well and is still available worldwide on www.amazon.com.
Sometimes God has you put aside, not give up, but just delay working on a solution to a challenge because in His own timing he has better plans for that challenge in the future.
When this happens don't be defeated because God never is and he will enable you to trump that challenge when the time is right.
Prayer: Lord thank you for always being accessible when challenges arise. Give us the wisdom to know how to defeat a challenge and when to delay so that we are working in your perfect timing. Amen!