Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Read: [Meditate on the scripture of the week.]
Reflect: [Use this devotional thought for a moment of reflection. Today’s devotional is written by Ashley Stough.]
“But don’t forget this, dear friends, a day or a thousand years from now is like tomorrow to the Lord. He isn’t really being slow about his promised return, even though it sometimes seems that way. But he is waiting, for the good reason that he is not willing that any should perish…” 2 Peter 3:8-9, The Living Bible
Doesn’t it sometimes seem that way? God is slow – slow to answer our questions, slow to answer our prayers, slow to heal our wounds, slow to make things new. Sometimes my heart feels so overwhelmed by the pain and the anguish we face today, whether it’s something as simple as a hurtful remark or the disruption and destruction of riots. I recently read a post by Jen Hatmaker. She said “I want peace and healing so much for this world that sometimes I think I cannot go on. We need God to make all things new so desperately.” I can relate to this, feeling incapable of pressing forward, desperate for renewal.
But, there is good news. God isn’t slow, nor has He forgotten. He is simply waiting. His desire is to make all things new, but He waits patiently for us so that no one will perish. What a concept – God waiting on us. What if we really embraced this and instead of desperately searching for answers and trying to forge our own path, we turned to Him and cried out “Father help me have faith!” If you are like me, you think this is so much easier said than done. But here’s the truth, when we get to the end of our rope and are exhausted from pulling ourselves up time and time again, Jesus will still be waiting with arms extended wide. And it is in His embrace that we will find peace amidst any circumstance.
Jesus calls us to live in community, loving one another and bearing each other’s burdens. Today reach out to someone you know that needs encouragement. Offer them the peace of the Father through a phone call, a simple note, or a warm embrace.