Thursday, May 14, 2020

LHM Daily Devotions - May 14, 2020 - "Doing the Difficult Things"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Doing the Difficult Things"

May 14, 2020

(Jesus said) "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
Have you ever walked into a situation where you weren't sure what to do or how to do it? Or maybe you knew what to do, but you still felt wildly out of place—these people were not your "kind of people," and you wondered if you were going to stick out like a sore thumb. That happens to me in social situations, and it's bad.

But it's even worse when I'm going into a situation where I am doing something absolutely necessary that I've never done before—for example, doing personal care for a loved one who is dying of cancer. Technically it's not that difficult to cook for someone, to change a diaper, to get trained on how to handle a stomach feeding tube or an ostomy bag. And yet it's scary, the first time. I wish there was someone else who could borrow my hands, oversee my actions, and help me to do things right. Then, maybe, I could stop being so self-conscious. Then, maybe, I could relax a little and trust that it wasn't going to be a disaster.

And that is a gift Jesus gives us, believe it or not. He says, "In that day (the day of Jesus' resurrection) you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." We are not alone with the challenge that lies before us. Jesus is with us, is even in us—not just as a metaphor or a figure of speech, but for real. If we are willing to let it be so, our hands are His hands, and our mouths can be His mouth. We can pray for help and trust that He will in fact dwell within us, according to His promise—and that He will make His presence known.

That makes it so much easier to be the first one to take leadership in an emergency—to be the first to make peace when a family fight is raging—to act as a parent to your own parent or grandparent, to behave like a sister or brother to someone who comes from a totally different cultural background. It doesn't matter if we ourselves are afraid and inadequate; Jesus is not. Jesus is living in us. We can call upon His strength whenever we need it. Thanks be to God.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, remind us that we are never alone in this world. We have Jesus, and He is all we need. In His Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What is the hardest thing you have done this past year? Why was it hard?

2. Have you ever asked Jesus to "take over" when you had something difficult to do?

3. How did that work out?
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What is the hardest thing you have done this past year? Why was it hard?

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