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Devotional: November 6, 2020

God’s a safe-house for the battered,     a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax;     you’re never sorry you knocked.

Sing your songs to Zion-dwelling God,     tell his stories to everyone you meet: How he tracks down killers     yet keeps his eye on us,     registers every whimper and moan.

         Psalm 9: 9-12     The Message

The opening phrase of Psalm 9:9, “God’s a safe-house for the battered” makes me think of Grace House, a local ministry here in the Wenatchee Valley. Part of the Lighthouse Ministries, Grace House describes itself this way:

“We are a Christ-centered, faith-based transitional home for women and children. Grace House offers up to 40 women and children affordable program fees, discipleship and a chance to heal and grow into the women and mothers God created them to be. This home is built by faith, grace and community support.”

More information can be found on their website:

https://www.wenatcheelighthouse.org/grace-house

Last month was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. While we are now into November, I believe we need to be praying for, and providing support for all involved in domestic violence, as well as other things that bring harm. The statistics are sobering. Here are a few of them:

“National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort. It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year. 

Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other. 

1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.”

Source:

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-domestic-violence-awareness-month-october/

In my ministry, I have encountered so many different kinds of struggles people are going through, including domestic violence. My overwhelming emotion upon meeting the victims is sadness. It is coupled with a strong desire to help and for healing.

The side effects from the Covid shut down have been more than just the deaths due to Covid. There have been deaths from domestic violence, suicide, and substance abuse. Domestic violence is up, and many households have been devastated. Hopefully, we are all aware and sensitive to all of these other side effects, including financial stresses. 

These issues have always been on the radar, and need to be even more so during the holidays. Probably this year, more than ever, we need to be aware of, be praying for, and ready to offer assistance when needs arise. Our church has always been wonderful with supporting families, and we are still working out details as to how to sustain this ministry during the shutdown. 

Now, more than ever, we need to be praying for the victims. Yet we also need to be praying for the perpetrators. Many of them have themselves been victims at some point in their lives. Often, they do not know any other way to solve their rage and anger than through violence. Recently, it was reported that homicides connected to domestic violence have doubled in King County, Washington, due to the pandemic this year. 

Let us join together in prayer: for those who have been in the eye of the storm and have been harmed; for a cure to Covid; for spiritual and healing; for our country; for all those issues which have caused physical pain and emotional pain.

We have a great God who offers healing. He aches when we are in distress. Let us all lay all of these burdens at His feet. May we trust in His tender caring for all. May we be patient, and understanding, and faithful.

Prayer

Lord, 

You hear my cries even before I have uttered them. You have given me free choice. May my choices be pleasing to You. Show me ways in which I can be an instrument of Your peace. Give me the words to show others the direction in which You yearn for us all to walk. Give me patience to realize that Your timing is not my timing. Thank you for Your patience with me, and Your consistent abiding love.

I pray this prayer in Your most faithful name. Amen


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