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Lenten Devotional – April 5, 2019

By: Eric Gardener

Readings: Isaiah 43:8-15; Philippians 2:25-3:1; Psalm 126

Life brings happiness and difficulty without fail. Some people would say this is is what defines us as human. When facing tough situations that challenge us as individuals to our core, we often long for those times that previously brought us the greatest joy and free of stress.

We frequently compare ourselves to others who we perceive as having the one item we do not have. In today’s society, noise and distractions surround us each and every day that often contribute to our perception of difficulties whether it is overt or subtle.

When challenged, we will often seek the solutions that chase temporary relief. When we follow these individuals or activities, we will be lead astray with by the claims of others who think they know what is best to solve our difficulties. These individuals may seek to benefit themselves at your expense with solutions that are often equivalent to snake oil.

The truth is simple when facing adversity. You and I are chosen by the one true God. Regardless of how you perceive the difficulty you encounter, God has saved you and will continue to protect you from what really matters. God has always protected you and will continue to do so in perpetuity if you allow him/her to do so thru your faith. God has mercy on us and knows what is best for you and me.

This is easy to proclaim when everything goes the way you and I had intended but will be challenged when we forget to believe. There will be a time where we will find ourselves listening to the noise and chasing temporary relief. This distraction may cause us to lose sight of what is important and will test our resilience.

When we feel overwhelmed and the noise is just too much, we should refocus on the fact that God protects us because of his/her love for us. Whether it is sorrow, pain or another negative human emotion, you and I need to remind ourselves that it will pass because of God’s eternal love.

Rather than focusing on those things that distract us from serving God, we should remember to laugh, be joyful, sing, dance, and remember what God has already given us. This is what allows us to be closer to God. Rejoice in the love and mercy God provides us.

Dear God, please help me be more resilient and remind me to focus on those things that are really important. Please assist me in discarding the distractions that prevent me from being closer to you allowing me to serve you better. Amen.

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