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Distanced Socializing Devotional- 32

Our Tuesday devotional was prepared by Liz Bady, a member of our faith community.

Scripture: Psalm 143:1-10

Listen to this prayer of mine God; pay attention to what I’m asking. Answer me — you’re famous for your answers! Do what’s right for me. But, don’t, please don’t, haul me into court; not a person alive would be acquitted there.

The enemy hunted me down; he kicked me and stomped me within an inch of my life. He put me in a black hole, buried me like a corpse in that dungeon. I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away, my heart heavy, like lead. I remembered the old days, went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked, Stretched out my hands to you, as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.

Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope. Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me! That would be certain death. If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice, I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you. Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before you. Save me from my enemies, God — you’re my only hope! Teach me how to live to please you, because you’re my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland. From The Message by Eugene Peterson

Reflection This is a tough hard time. I have heard many people say over and over, “I have never seen anything like this in my life before!”. We are going through a historic time. It is hard to take in, hard to accept, but we have accepted it and we are doing many of the right things to help. And, I know that, as we go forward, we will continue to do things that can help with this pandemic.

But, even in light of all we know and are learning every day, this is a scary time with so much that is unknown. It is straining us in ways that we have never been strained before. Everyone goes through hard times in their life and this time could be very triggering for many—bringing up things that one has gone through, worked through and hoped were over.

Almost twenty years ago my family went through a very traumatic time. I remember well how I felt at that time. The anxiety, the fear, the unknown - these days of Coronavirus have brought back many of those same feelings - feeling out of control, frightened and not knowing who to trust.

Back then I went through two weeks where I felt so frightened I almost could not function. I tried my best to be there for my family, but within my body and soul I was shaken beyond anything I could have possibly imagined.

Then, somehow, I was able to let go enough to let God in to be there for me so that I could truly be there for my family. Letting God in, to be part of what was going on, allowed me to come to a better place. Things were still so hard, scary and difficult, but I was able to find the strength I needed with God’s help.

Some of those same feelings have risen up during the last few months. Waking up, feeling anxious and worried; fearing for my loved ones and for myself. However, once again I have let God in and let God lead the way. This has happened through spiritual rituals that my daughter has shared on Facebook, our church family mid-week retreats, our Christ UMC live-streamed worship services, reading and writing the devotionals, friends being there and reaching out. God is with us and each night I go to sleep trusting that God is there.

Prayer Dear loving and caring God. I feel despair and fear within myself and my spirit. Thank you for being with me, being within my reach. Let me reach out and let You in. “Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland”. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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