Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Balance”
Our Bible verse for today: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “God will take care of you.”
In yesterday’s devotional I made the point that although we should take reasonable steps to prepare for the future, we should not obsess about it to the point of allowing our concern for the future to get our life out of balance. Worse still, sometimes an obsessive concern for the future can deter us from following where God is leading. This is something Linda and I had to come to terms with almost twenty-five years ago.
In 1993, as my career in the Navy was drawing to a close and I was preparing for the next season of life, I knew the Lord was calling me into full-time professional ministry. At that time I didn’t have a clear vision of what that ministry would entail, but I knew He was calling me into ministry and I knew I needed to go to seminary. So I took a low-paying job with the Department of Defense working as a Family Counselor on Naval Station San Diego, and I went to seminary at night.
I have to admit, especially as my seminary education was nearing an end, I had visions of grandeur. I envisioned a future of being the pastor of some fine large church with hundreds, perhaps thousands of members. But the Lord had a different plan. My years of ministry have actually been in small churches, with a few years in the middle on the staff of a small mission agency.
Financially speaking those were mostly lean years. It was small ministry with small incomes. But through almost twenty-five years of such ministry God has always taken good care of us. While we haven’t owned expensive cars and motor homes, we have always been comfortable and well cared for. He truly has been “the God of all provision” for us. And His past faithfulness gives us great comfort and peace about the future. Now that the old age and grey hairs referred to in Isaiah 46:4 are here for us, we have peace and assurance about the future.
Also, the older we’ve gotten the more we have come to appreciate the value of a simple life. Having a smaller home to maintain, fewer possessions to take care of, and minimal financial obligations that must be met, allows a person to focus instead on people, on ministry, and on enjoyable activities. This isn’t a lesson just for old age either. It’s one I wish we had learned and practiced much sooner. There’s a lot to be said for a life of simplicity and moderation.
Often we become so fixated on our own visions of what we believe the future should look like (and what we want it to be), that it gets us off track and out of balance. Jesus’ concluding promise in Matthew 6:25-34 (The “do not worry” passage of the Sermon on the Mount), is great advice for all of life: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” You focus on God and on His people, and God will take care of you.