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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, July 18, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 85

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
    you pardoned all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all your wrath;
    you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
    and put away your indignation toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
    so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people,
    to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
    that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
    righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
    and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
    and will make a path for his steps. (NRSV)

So many of us are struggling walking forward in life today. The 24/7 cycle of news is mostly toxic and depressing and fills us with constant doubt and fear. The stress of war, violence, illnesses, and the economy attack our spiritual nervous systems like a virus. These worries can immobilize us.

We need to understand that the condition we are finding ourselves in as humans is not one that can be remedied through our own resourcefulness.

The weakened mental, emotional, and spiritual state that we find ourselves in can only be remedied with God’s steadfast grace and love. I wonder if it would benefit us to reflect on the faithful who came before us. They saw God take the first step—bringing them salvation—and they responded.

Now let’s reflect on the miracle of our precious children as they began to walk.

We held them up, encouraged them, and helped them balance themselves. They took a couple of steps, and then turned around to see if they were doing OK. We clapped and cheered them on to keep walking forward. If they wobbled, they knew we were there for them. They trusted us and, even though a bit shaky, continued to move forward, because they felt our protective love for them. Slowly but surely they gained confidence and were able to walk on their own onward into their new world.

Jesus is God’s first step toward us.

So, I wonder, how might we take a step toward our Lord so that we can move again; so we can take our baby steps to live more joyfully and without doubt and fear? God prepares us to reap his harvest when we move toward our Lord. God will order our steps and make things smooth, will bring fruit to the fields of our lives and make a path for God’s steps. At times we may be wobbly, but God won’t let go.

Lord Jesus, so many of us feel lost and need your help. Please give us renewed energy to take baby steps toward you as you first reached out to us through our birth. Please hold our hands firmly when we wobble and give us strength and balance to embrace your love and eternal grace. And please, Lord, paint us a panoramic landscape painting of a beautiful and peaceful world restored because of your infinite, unconditional love and goodness; in Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

Written by Cris Ohr, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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