Advent Devotional-December 17

December 17

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

As I reflected on this scripture, one prominent theme stood out to me as Paul addressed the Church of Thessalonica…Praise! Around this time of year, I find myself reflecting on the past year and the lessons that I learned from each one. One specific lesson was the illness of my mother.

 

My mother had been sick for quite a while. Continuous doctor visits and shift work had eventually taken a toll on her body one night as she was preparing to head home from working night shift. The phone call the next day from grandma telling me that she was in Intensive Care literally made my heart drop. Being away from home felt like I was on the other side of the world since I was not with my family. I felt helpless not being there to comfort them or to know what was going on first hand. Those times proved to be difficult. However, after talking to my dad one day while he was in the hospital with my mother, he told me to pray fervently and look for the good in this situation. The good? Of all things that could go wrong, my mother was in the hospital, the doctors at the time did not know what was making her sick, and I was not there. As I prayed that night, I searched my heart for what God was trying to tell me. After praying, I turned on my iPod and a song came on that I had not heard since camp this summer, “Lord You Have My Heart.” The lyrics are:


VERSE:
Lord, you have my heart
And I will search for yours
Let me be to you a sacrifice
Lord, you have my heart
And I will search for yours

Let me be to you a sacrifice

CHORUS:
I will praise you, Lord
And I will sing of love come down
And as you show your face
We’ll see your glory here

 


 

I finally realized what God wanted me to do…Praise him! Instead of consuming myself with worry, God wanted me to give him my worries, concerns, and problems, and in return, just praise him for handling the things that often make me feel helpless. So I began to rejoice, pray, and give thanks for what God was doing in my family’s life. And sure enough, my mother is doing much better after the doctors completed a successful lung surgery. The scripture states, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” So, in times that seem stressful, I encourage you to praise the Lord in spite of what may be going on. And in the words of the song, God’s face will show, and his glory will be amongst you.

 

Ashley Newman

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