Bible Readings and Devotion for August 30, 2020
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Devotion for August 30, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
One of the sad realities of natural disasters is that some people lose all of their worldly possessions. We have seen this with the recent hurricane which hit east Texas and western Louisiana. The winds, tornadoes, rain, floods and storm surge have taken away everything from numerous families, churches, businesses, etc. For those who survive this, they have only their lives left. Now that is something wonderful, but the loss has been traumatic. Losing pretty much everything can change a person. It is humbling. With God’s help, it can be a chance to revisit what is most important in life.
In our reading from Luke 5 we have an account of Jesus encounter with Peter. Peter has his entire sense of self challenged in this. He is a professional fisherman. He has failed at catching fish from their most recent trip out on the Sea of Galilee. In the midst of his feeling of failure, Jesus comes along. He tells Peter to go out again. For whatever reason, Peter consents to this new instruction. Maybe he felt it was worth another try?
What happens next is a loss and a blessing. Peter goes out as Jesus instructed, catches an overwhelming amount of fish, and has to call others to help bring it in. He has an interesting reaction – he recognizes that he is a sinner. Compared to the holy power of God to provide the fish, Peter is a sinner. This is true whether or not the fish were provided, but the miracle highlights this truth.
When we get to the bottom of life in any context, we are given a shining and overwhelming sense of God’s presence. When all else is stripped away, we see what and who has always been there for us. We get to see that God has been there for us all along to provide what we truly need, to give us a connection with him, to know his mercy, and to delight in understanding our purpose in life.
We don’t wish a trauma such as a natural disaster or a bad day for business on anybody. We do wish and pray that whenever these realities of life hit any one of us, that we are given the vision to see all that God has provided for us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen