Forest Lake Talks

3/21/22 Devotional from Ed

March 21, 2022

Text: Hebrews: 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Devotional: A seminary professor of mine, Paul Galbreath, is a gifted professor who can break down complex theology with simple, one sentence summaries.

Dr. Galbreath also was a long-time pastor of a church in Portland, Oregon before joining the faculty at Union, and when he first arrived at the Portland church, he consistently asked all church committees the following simple questions in all discussions and decision-making opportunities:

  • How is God present in this?
  • Where do we see God's hand?

Think about a hospital ICU, a place full of hard moments for many and even harder decisions for medical teams and families sitting by the bedside. As challenging as it is to feel or see God in those anxious times sitting by someone's bedside (or being in the bed yourself), there is no doubt in my mind that God's presence is felt through the hearts, hands, and voices of the medical staff and nurses. They have been gifted with a unique skill set to help those who are suffering. This is a simple concept that we're taught from the beginning - God gifts all of us with different abilities.

However, we get distracted and sometimes make things harder than necessary. We overcomplicate things by failing to trust, fighting for control, and sometimes failing to remember a simple assurance that is a consistent theme throughout the Bible: God is with us. Always.

If we are disciplined about looking for God's presence, we'll see God's hand, but in many cases, looking for God's presence means removing the distractions. And, a simple question or two can lead to obvious answers.

Prayer: Holy God, empower us to take the courage needed to declutter our minds and hearts. And when we separate from our distractions, may we draw closer to you and feel your presence. Amen.

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