Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Devotion 1.16.19

"Nobody knows the troubles I've seen."  I've heard the old blues song a few times, but I don't remember much except the line above.  There is a common refrain to, "How's it going?"  Goes something like this:  "No complaints.  Besides, no one would listen.”

That's the truth.  To start talking about the woes we face in life can become like a game of "Top the Bat."  Last one to the top who can palm the base of the bat wins.  Woes or troubles are just that, and mine may sound petty and minuscule compared to another person's.  "I've got a headcold that's killing me right now.  How about you?" "I have cancer."  Time to hush, back off.  

And yet we can't discount trouble we face.  The question is what do we do with difficulty?  We have several options when it comes to troubles or difficulty.  We can walk away from it.  The problem with that those of us of a certain age know is that should that be your solution, it will find you eventually.  You can confront the trouble head on, but if your difficulty or trouble is another person, confrontation is probably not the best method, especially if that is an aggressive confrontation.  

David says this in Psalm 55:  "'My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.  Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.' And I say, 'Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness. Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."

From the devotion on Bonhoeffor's work, the author says this:  "We can't carry the difficulty on our own.  Being alone in it will only intensify it, but others can't rescue us from it.  We need to face it ourselves, seek God's intervention and support, and open it to others so that they might encourage us to see it through to the end."  

Bonhoeffer came to his conclusion in prison and wrote to deal with the issues that were confronting him.  This devotion was based on his papers from that time.  He was executed by the Nazis before the camp was liberated.  We pray we learn to approach our difficulties with Christ, and with Christ, we pray that he help us confront our difficulties and seek God's intervention and support.  Then we turn to our brothers to help us as we travel the course of dealing with these difficulties.

Hope Men's Ministry

Charles Ringma, "Seize the Day with Dietrich Bonhoeffer"

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