Happy Thursday! Today’s Lenten devotional comes to us from Reece Harty. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting Reece, he is creative, charismatic, relational, engaging, and truly kind. He thrives in his role as the Milton Daniel Hall Director, where he consistently invests in the lives of students and is passionate about fostering their inclusion and belonging. I am grateful to know him, and I hope you enjoy his words for us today.
22 Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Something that not a lot of people know about me is that I loved roller coasters! Growing up, we didn’t go to a lot of theme parks that had rides, probably because it had something to do with cleanliness (my mother was ahead of her time when it came to germ prevention). Regardless, whenever a friend of mine would celebrate a birthday party or a local festival or carnival came to town with rides, I was the first one in line for the scariest, death-defying rides, much to my mother’s dismay. While my sister would cling to my mother’s leg, I’d be recruiting friends and strangers to join me in this thrilling adventure. It would usually be fine until the bar that secures all passengers goes down, which is when I’d try to rebel. That darn bar would always make it more challenging to move and always seemed to serve as a physical reminder to “be safe!” Ugh. It was always a buzz kill. I felt that I didn’t need it, what’s the worst that could happen?! However, by the end of the ride, I’d consistently grab the safety bar for a sense of security. Even as I got older, I’d try to resist the temptation to grab the bar, but admittedly I’m grateful that it was always there, just in case.
Just like roller coasters, life is unpredictable; filled with ups and downs, turns, and moments that may throw your whole world upside down. While this may cause those of us who like to be in control (or think we are) lots of stress, we must remember who actually has the power, the Lord. Keeping with the roller coaster mindset, God and our faith in him is the safety bar on the roller coaster. We must remember that when life starts to become more difficult or we start to inch into a scary part that is unknown, God is there. He provides resources and support for everyone who remembers to turn to him. It’s the faith that we hold in him is that keeps us feeling secure and at peace. Our faith in God is the safety bar: always there, even if we think we need it or not.
No matter what we do, who we are, or the rides we get on (or off of), let’s remember to keep the faith. Let’s remind others of his grace and the magnitude of his abilities, as it is through him all things are possible. As you prepare for your next death-defying adventure or journey, remember who you need to take with you and that we’re never alone in all that we set out to accomplish.
Let us pray.
Let’s pray. Dear God, help us to find peace in our lives this Lenten Season. We are so thankful that you are always with us, and forgive us for not always remembering that. Thank you so much for giving us the gift of joy and for encouraging us to love our lives. Amen.