Devotions, March 25, 2020
Read 1 Corinthians 13.8-13
When asked how he was able to stay in one congregation for 27 years, an Orthodox Rabbi friend of mine in Kansas City simply said, “long walks.” As I have not been able to go to the gym, I have been trying to take ‘long walks’ for my mental, spiritual, and physical well being. My favorite place to head is the lake. It brings me great comfort. I am blessed to be able to live close enough to walk to the lake, stand or sit on the bluffs, and take in the comfort of feeling immensely close to our Creator. Every day I am in awe of how the temperament and color of the water changes. Every day I am in awe of how I am swallowed up in the vastness of the size of the body of water, of only being able to see the horizon and not beyond.
I am a person who has pretty high control needs. People who are close to me would take out the word pretty and simply say I have high control needs. I do not like the feeling of not knowing. I have a really long list for Peter if I make it to the pearly gates of questions that I don’t have answers for. The scripture I choose for today is often read at weddings. Paul, however, is not talking about love between two people but the love that we have and offer to life, i.e. to God and to neighbor.
Paul is also one who is often identified as having high control needs. I share a kinship with him. In this passage where he speaks of love being the way, he acknowledges that he does not know everything. He acknowledges that he only knows dimly and partially. He trusts that someday when he is face to face with God he will see clearly. (This gives me hope for answers on my list for Peter.) He goes on to say we are to simply rest in God’s love.
When I took my walk to the lake this morning to pray our Breakthrough Prayer with you on Facebook, the sun was just starting to burn off the fog. I could not see as far as I often can. There were glimpses of light dancing upon the water in the fog that covered the waters. It seemed to me this was a good picture of our lives today.
I have a multitude of feelings about all of this. I suspect you do too. I want to know how long we will need to be ‘safer at home.’ I want to know for sure that loved ones with weakened immune systems will not get seriously ill. I want to know when we can gather again for worship. I want to know what the right answer is when there are conflicting messages from our governmental leaders and medical professionals. Not having answers causes anxiety with my need to plan and control.
What I know to be true and always have is that there are not pure answers to most of life’s important questions. Paul knew this and sought to reassure us that there will come a time that we will understand more fully. For now Paul tells us to trust in God who has the answers and to live in our faith, hope and love.
So, I ask you today, What brings you comfort? What helps you to feel less anxious and to feel God’s providence and love for you? For me, walks to the lake brings me comfort. I also couldn’t resist sharing this picture of our cat Mordecai. He brings me comfort with his affectionate personality and quirks. He is comfortable in his resting.
I have also been doing a lot of baking these days. It is something I enjoy doing, and thus brings me comfort.
I hope and pray that in these days of ‘not knowing’ that your hearts will not be overcome with anxiety, but in the assurance that there will come a time when you will know more fully. I hope and pray in these days you will practice self-care and enjoy the aspects of life that bring you comfort so that you may rest fully in the presence of God's love.
Dear God, Calm my anxious heart and soul with your peace and love. Remind me that in the midst of uncertainty you know all things. Let me be reassured by your presence and love. Amen.