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Devotion, March 28, 2020

Scripture: Read Proverbs 4.25

Let your eyes look directly forward,

and your gaze be straight before you. (NIV)

Spring is here. The neighborhood’s duck couple has returned to nest. They bring great delight to the families of the neighborhood as they can be spotted swimming in the culverts, especially after a rain like today. They also seem to move great distances around the neighborhood as they visit our yards as if they wish to greet each homeowner.

In the book of Lamentations we read The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lam 3.22-23 (NRSV) The beloved hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” captures this text and reminds us of God’s dependability through the seasons of summer, winter, springtime and harvest as well as through the seasons of our lives where we are promised strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. The dependability of God’s faithfulness is good news in this time when I am not even sure what day it is. The return of our duck couple is a tangible reminder of God’s goodness and dependability in our world and thus, in our lives.

Proverbs is a wonderful book filled with nuggets of wisdom. Today’s scripture from Proverbs reminds me that I can easily be distracted and depart from God’s path. Listening to the news causes me to be distracted from God’s path. Hearing conflicting information about what is happening with the coronavirus and hearing dire information about increasing numbers of persons both contracting the virus and dying from complications of the virus can distract me from trusting in God’s providential care for us. The writer of Proverbs reminds us to look forward and to let our gaze be upon God’s word and wisdom. The wisdom of the past seems pertinent for our days. An added benefit of paying attention and looking directly forward was to notice the presence of our duck couple.

Lastly, Jesus says if we will be fit for God’s kingdom, we must keep our eyes forward, not distracted side to side or backwards. Lk 9.62 (NIV) Christian hope portrayed in the New Testament is always forward looking. It reminds us that we cannot go back and change what has been, but we can only go forward moving into the goodness and fullness of God’s time. We cannot go back in our lives and have a ‘do over’ as some have wished for. We can only stake our place as of now and look forward. As we are in the middle of a ‘safer at home’ order, we can only take one day at a time and move forward, trusting in a time when we can fully leave our homes and make decisions about how we order those days. This is the hope that has been given to us.

The scriptures remind us of God’s dependability, God’s desire that we would stay focused and be on His path and that we would look forward to the goodness of future days that lie ahead. May it be so.

Prayer: Loving and gracious God, Thank you for signs of your presence all around us. Open our eyes to be able to see and behold the signs you give us. Remind us in, both these difficult days and days of spring that you are dependable and we can trust in your faithfulness. Continue to pull us forward to newness of life, personally, globally and in your reign. We pray for all those who are in need anywhere they may be. For we offer our lives and place our hope in your Son, Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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