This fresh set of Daily Devotions is being provided for our LCA/NZ family, friends and visitors to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus as we face unsettling times. They can be used by families and individuals as part of the LCA/NZ’s Church@Home resources to encourage us and build trust in our Heavenly Father during this season of uncertainty and physical isolation.
by Linda Macqueen
Click here for your printable verse to carry with you today.
I will carry you (Isaiah 46:4b).
Forgive me the indulgence of writing this devotion on my birthday. On this particular birthday, which I suppose is a ‘maturity milestone’ (it ends in a zero), I wanted to share with you my favourite scripture of all time.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you … and save you (Isaiah 46:3-4 NLT).
To understand why this is my all-time favourite, you need to know something about me. I’m not who you think I am. I’m not that person with the trusting childlike faith, or the one who recites the Creed every Sunday without ever a blink of doubt, or the one who’s always bubbling over with the joy of their salvation. I’m not that person. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a questioner, a doubter, an interrogator. Answers have never been able to settle my ever-inquiring mind. Nor has the kindly intended encouragement, ‘just trust in God’.
For much of my life, immersed in a church of faith-overflowing family and friends, I was sure my relentless questions and doubts condemned me to hell.
Then, in the middle of the day I have a dream. There is a shepherd and twin newborn lambs on a bank of a fast-flowing stream. The mature sheep have crossed over it, but the newborns are too small. The shepherd will carry them across, one at a time. He picks up the first lamb and right away it snuggles into the crook of his arm and gets comfy. He carries the dozing lamb across the stream and reunites it with its mother. He returns for the other lamb, wild-eyed and baa-ing its head off, terrified of what is going to happen. The shepherd picks it up and wades across the stream, as the lamb bucks and bleats and struggles to leap out of its saviour’s arms. The shepherd merely tightens his grip and holds the frightened lamb close to his heart. He puts it down on the bank next to its calm, trusting twin.
My arrival safe to the shore has nothing to do with the measure of trust I have in the Shepherd. It has everything to do with the Shepherd’s strength. And his relentless love for me.
I am carried.
Jesus, my Good Shepherd, when I am strong and when I am not, thank you for carrying me. When I can trust in you and when I cannot, thank you for carrying me. When I can cling to you and when I cannot, thank you for carrying me. Amen.