The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, July 6, 2023, was written by Melanie S. Fretz from Pennsylvania.
19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:19-21 NRSV
Whether navigating through hospital corridors or driving down country roads, I am easily disoriented. I usually end up making a wrong turn or two and have to turn around. Part of the problem is that I am easily distracted and don't pay attention to the landmarks and signs posted along the way. Sometimes our spiritual journey is like this. We may become distracted and miss the guidance God gives us. When we're lost, we can find our way back to God by purposefully seeking God and listening for God's guidance.
When we read and meditate on God's word, pray, and worship, we are more attuned to God's gentle promptings. Regular fellowship with other believers also helps us stay focused on God. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that we will hear a word guiding our steps when we make a conscious effort to listen to God. Even when we feel disconnected from God, we can find peace in the promise that God is waiting and will guide our steps.
In the hurried pace of our lives, it can be easy to get distracted and miss spending time with God. I have found that my morning devotion time helps settle my mind and heart for the day ahead. It offers me a moment to check in with God, to hear God's counsel, and experience God's peace before the day has had the chance to wear me down. I have found Melanie's words to be true: "When we read and meditate on God's word, pray, and worship, we are more attuned to God's gentle promptings." I encourage you to start or continue spending time with God each day, and in so doing, refine your spiritual compass for navigating the challenges that arise.
Dear God, thank you for being our Gentle Shepherd and for your promise to lead us and guide us always. We pray as Jesus taught us, "Father hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation" (Luke 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.
-Melanie S. Fretz