The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, June 14, 2022 comes to us from Saira Verma of Uttar Pradesh, India.
1 But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth- 7everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:1-7 NIV
“Do Not Be Afraid”
God called my husband and me to serve, so we were preparing ourselves for ministry through theological training in Jabalpur. We had our four-year-old son with us, and we were dependent on a stipend we received from the college we were attending. We were facing a financial crisis, but we had faith in God. As we read in Isaiah 43:5, God says, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
Sometimes I was unsure whether my husband and I would be able to complete our training. Every day we prayed for help because God is the one who called us to prepare for ministry through this training. Those four years of training were a time of crisis and fear, but they were also a time when we received God’s love, comfort, and peace. God was with us in every situation, including during sickness, financial crisis, and times of need. Now, years later, we are both serving as ordained pastors, and God is also using our son in the work of ministry.
Often the journey toward a goal, especially a goal toward a calling from God, can be full of struggles as Saira Verma describes here. It seems to me that setting a goal is always easier than actually achieving it. The service for which we prepare can be anything, including ministry, emergency response, all health care providers, and helping others in any way. But no matter how difficult the circumstances of our situation, if we are responding to God’s call, God provides all that we need to achieve those goals. I invite you to consider moments when a goal has seemed far beyond reach, but God has provided what you need to accomplish your mission.
Thank you, Lord, for your love and protection. Be with us as we follow your call. Amen.
Thought for the Day:
God will help me in every situation.