Forest Lake Talks

7/5/23 Devotional from Ed

July 5, 2023

Text: Isaiah 55:8-9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Devotional: Pastor, author, missionary, and mother (to our own Adele Wyatt) Sara Covin Juengst knows what it means to change, pivot, and follow God's call. It's ironic that I'm reading one of her books, The Road Home: Images for the Spiritual Journey, while we continue to talk during worship for the past several weeks about Abram and Sarai's call. Abram and Sarai uprooted their lives, trusted God, and followed God's way, all without knowing the final outcome.

Sara and her family did the same. Sara and her husband, Dan, moved more than thirty times during their lengthy marriage. She writes, "We have traveled autobahns in Germany and have been mired down on muddy dirt roads in the Congo" (xi). Sara admits there was plenty of anxiety with each big step, but she was comforted by the words of her daughter each time Sara expressed worries to her family before another big move: "Oh, Mom, you always say that!"

Can you hear the hint of confidence in those words? Sara's family had learned to trust from an early age that God is with us, despite change. In fact, God's continued presence may have been the one constant in a life that involved moving, change, uprooting, and putting aside ego for God's way.

Sara is a powerful writer, weaving in Scripture at every stop to remind the reader of who we are and whose we are. Here's what she writes about the decision to become missionaries: "When Dan and I were preparing to go to Africa as missionaries, a friend put a very important question to me: "What, she asked, 'do you expect to accomplish?' I knew the right answer, of course: We were going to teach God's way. We would accomplish that in classrooms and churches, through Christian education courses and religious dramas and evangelistic itineration. We had it all figured out. What I came to realize after some years in the field was that the only real way to teach God's way is to live it. If we accomplished anything in our efforts to teach God's way, it was probably done over coffee with students, in the kitchen with household help, at dinner with friends, in the yard with our children. The way of God is not an abstract philosophical subject, but an empower concept for everyday life that shows us the way to live" (96).

May we be empowered to live God's way this week and beyond.

Prayer: Holy God, fill us with your Spirit. May we feel your presence each day, reminding each of us that you are with us. May we follow your way and not our own. And may we live it. Amen.

Work Cited: Juengst, Sara Covin. The Road Home: Images for the Spiritual Journey. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.


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