Daily Devotions

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Today’s Reading  |  Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High. 
God is the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
    “Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. (NRSV)

My grandfather was an incredible person. As a stained-glass window artist, he felt Christ was in the essence of everything he did. “Good craft is art,” he said. “Both are creative. Your hand, mind, and soul are involved in creating it. God is my creator. I feel this. I see his work and I see my own wretchedness. I want to seek eternal life, want to know God and to love him, to live for him and dedicate my work to him—because I believe that the talent he gave me is designated for his greater glory.” My grandfather’s real joy came in painting nature—God’s creation.

I cannot help but think of my grandfather when I read this psalm. He really helped me understand the beautiful in simple things we see around us every day, the miracles of God’s creation.

I think sometimes it is easy for us to take what God does for granted, just how in control God is.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Among uproar, kingdoms falling, desolation, God is omnipresent—and asks us to remember, “I am God.”

For this day upon us, what if each of us appreciated the beauty of a storm? The beauty of things falling apart? Someone once told me, “Nature is God’s canvas.” What if this day we each walked outside and saw the beauty in the simple and “still” of our surroundings? “The Lord God Almighty is with us,” let us rejoice and be glad!

Lord, this day is a gift, your gift to us. I pray that you help me stop and appreciate this moment, right now, wherever I am. To be still and praise your beautiful creation. In times of trouble, help me remember that your hand guides me and this day that they may unfold for your majesty. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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