Monday Devotional

     Things can be going great and "life is good".  But often things change, sometimes rapidly.  Marriages can crumble, friends in the faith can turn away, and often children raised to love God, to be responsible, diligent and caring, can turn to  a seductive world and drift from the Godly life..   So, in fishing terms, how do we reel them back in?  If we yank them back we run the risk of a snapped line and off they go.  Often we have to include grace and softness in our desire to get them restored.  Sometimes we have to "lose the battle to win the war".   It means continual giving, praying, attending events, maintaining a relationship that hopefully but not always helps them to  move towards a restored Godly life.

     But despite the success or failure of our attempt to bring back the child, the friend, or the marriage, how do we fare?  So often we lapse into being frazzled, frustrated, discouraged, depressed, feeling totally insufficient; that we might as well give up.  So, how do we continue?  How do we "gather" ourselves to continue and regain our perspective and our effective ability to encourage, to guide and bring the ones drifting away back to the " Life"?. i would posture that we need to get into God, His presence and provision.    The Psalmist in Psalm 91 writes, "He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High abides under the shadow of the Almighty.....He shall cover us with his feathers and under his wings shall we trust."    Jesus invites us in Mt. 11:28-29 to " come unto Me all ye  who labor and are heavy laden,  and I will give you rest."  Paul in Phil. 4:6-7 writes, "Be anxious for nothing but in all things through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the Peace of God that passes all understanding  will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."   Paul writes to the Colossians in 3:1 that if we have been raised with Christ to "look up" and recognize that our lives have been hid in Christ and He in God.  So we need to move into the presence  and place of God to effectively deal with and minister to the people around us despite their situation.

      An example of this "place" can be represented in a football scenario.  The New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady is not the big strong man like the opposing defensive tackles that want to move in and take him down.  Brady knows that if he stays in the safety of "the pocket" provided by his own offensive guards he will be able to execute his gift of handoff and passing plays to move his team toward victory.  And like Tom Brady, we have to stay in that "pocket" provided by the protection of God.  Then in that pocket of presence and protective defense, in the armor of God we can effectively minister to those around us in their needs, hoping that with our loving encouragement and God's constraining love, they will come back to Him!  Remember James 5:19-20.