Pastor Rick Lipira: Morning Devotion 08/04/21
Showing Signs of Distress
Also, Your Righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. Psalm 71: 19-21
This is worth looking at in the NLT version: Your righteousness, Oh God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with You, Oh God? You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.
We continue with our summer beach theme through the month of August. On a recent visit to the beach, I noticed numerous places where wood was distressed, steel and iron straps and connections are oxidizing, and dock bumpers and posts are showing signs of wear. No doubt these were once pristine, but after wear and tear they are not “pretty” anymore. However, lack of prettiness does not mean they do not contain a beauty. There is something about items going through the elements and enduring that just has a beauty. Nothing like an old, weathered lighthouse to pause for a breathtaking photo-op.
If your season of life is like mine, somewhere the pretty has faded and for those who have drawn worth and value from your children’s activities and successes, for many that ship has sailed and faded away. Some days the waves of the “good ole days” beat against our bow followed by “what-ifs”, and “if only’s”, that lead to feelings of guilt, because we are never supposed to second guess anything in life.
When things are used as they were intended, they suffer everyday distress, and they can have the marks and scars to prove it. Look at any boat or beach house and you will see exactly what I am talking about. The “empty nest” can be a trophy that you did your part by producing another generation of productive, responsible adults to fill the voids of engineers, preachers, factory workers, accountants, and ____________ (fill in the blank). This does not mean your work is finished but it has changed. What if we all seek the Lord on getting our new or next assignment.
This Psalm reminds us; all our wear-marks are signs of honor, and part of our character, the good and the bad. God is sovereign over our lives and that which we encounter as nothing slips past His knowledge. He has a plan for your life no matter your age or physical condition and wants to Glorify Himself through you. Life may be different than it used to be, but that does not mean it is not good. Do not claim anything as unclean, or lacking value, that God has called clean, blessed, and priceless. Lord may we focus on how You have blessed our lives and walked with us through the flames and heartaches of this life. May our lives continue to be a testimony of Your goodness.
Pastor Rick Lipira