TITLE: God Cares
DATE: December 31, 2018
TEXT: 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Those who keep track of such things say that one of the biggest problems which afflict us, especially during the holidays, is the belief that we are alone, and nobody cares about what is going to happen to us. The feeling that we could completely disappear and nobody would notice our absence can be overwhelming.
That was certainly the situation for a man who once, quite inadvertently, upset Napoleon. In short order he was arrested and sentenced to prison. You will notice there was no hearing; there were no witnesses called up who might defend him, or speak on his behalf.
He was arrested and jailed.
Filled with hopelessness, he scratched the words, “Nobody cares” on the stone wall of his cell.
Then, one day, a green shoot sprouted through the cracks in the pavement of his cell floor. By sharing some of his daily water ration, the prisoner, did all he could to make sure the plant grew. Eventually it brought forth a beautiful blue flower. As the petals opened in full blossom, the captive crossed out the words he had written.
In their stead, he now wrote: “God does.”
Now, if the story ended there, it would be fantastic…but it goes on. In the cell next to our prisoner there was a man whose daughter who was allowed to visit the jail.
The prisoner was right: Most certainly God cares. That fact is so important it ought to be carved on the doorpost of every day in this New Year.
God cares. That fact, proven over and over by the life, suffering, death and resurrection of the Christ. God cares. That is a fact which needs to be constantly shared with individuals when they reach a crossroads, a challenge, a circumstance or situation which is personally painful to them.
Yes, God cares for the widow and widower who has lost a help-meet of 50 years. He cares about the teen who feels unaccepted by classmates. He cares about the loving couple who cannot have children. He cares about the single person who wonders if he will ever find a suitable mate.
Wherever this New Year takes you; you can be at peace, , God cares.
Many years ago, our Lord showed He cared when He reached into a dungeon’s dark depths and caused a flower to blossom. Today, each of us can be at peace because our caring Lord can show his loving kindness by reaching into our dark hearts.
God cares and our hearts have no problem too great or dark that God cannot fix it through the Redeemer’s work and the Holy Spirit’s presence
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I cannot say what will come my way in the New Year. I do know this, because of Your ongoing presence in my life, I cannot be overwhelmed by circumstance. Especially when times are difficult. In Jesus’ Name I give thanks. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html