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Devotional: January 19, 2022

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

He’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.

Run to God! Run from evil!

Your body will glow with health,

your very bones will vibrate with life!

Proverbs 3: 5-12 The Message

The message of this passage is straightforward: Trust God! Listen for His voice! Pursue Him, and you will be blessed! Such words can be helpful reminders for us. This is especially true as we are bombarded with many different voices, and many different, sometimes conflicting messages. These verses remind us that it is never wrong to listen for the voice of the Lord. It is the very best thing for us to do!

A Christian woman named Jan Johnson volunteered to lead a Bible study at the Samaritan Center, a drop-in center for the homeless in her Southern California community. She felt the need to connect with the people who came in by relating the scriptures to them, and their particular situations. She found “The Message”, (a contemporary translation of the bible by Eugene Peterson), to be helpful. She and her students came up with the following paraphrase which was especially meaningful for them. Perhaps you will find it thought-provoking. It may even fill your heart with compassion. So often we see homeless people, especially in the winter, struggling to survive.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

(just like you do everything from the heart-gut)

don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

(even though you manage so cleverly on the streets by your wits)

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

(sleeping in drainage ditches, dumpster-diving for food)

He’s the one who will keep you on track.

(someone will hire you; you won’t get arrested, shot or cut)

Don’t assume that you know it all.

(even though you’ve seen it all)

Run to God! Run from evil!

(Run to Samaritan Center; don’t accept drugs one more time)

Your body will glow with health,

(you won’t be one of the many annual deaths we see at Samaritan Center)

your very bones will vibrate with life!

(you’ll have energy to get up tomorrow)

We ourselves might not be in as much peril as those with whom Jan works, but we may be able to us parts of her down to earth message in our daily lives. When our church serves lunch to those at the Lighthouse ministry, our hearts become softened. The love which Jesus has for all people can be passed on through our words and actions to all who struggle with homelessness, mental illness, and other daily and visible hardships of the world. May we think to ourselves, “What would Jesus do?”

Prayer

Lord of all,

Forgive me when I do not put my whole trust in You. Help me to remember to turn to You for all things, not just the things I can’t solve myself. Remind me that Your way might not always be the direction I am inclined to take. Therefore, humble my heart to see Your will, especially when I am a prodigal. Thank You for Your willingness to always take me back, wrapping me in Your forgiveness. May I always turn away from the pull of the world and the evil which can consume me. Let me put my complete faith in you! I pray this prayer in Your holy name. Amen.


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