The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, May 26, 2022 comes to us from Juan Carlos Gómez of Bogotá, Colombia.
1 Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers, 2 for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday. Psalm 37:1-6 NIV
Even though I live in a 16-story building in the middle of a big city, there are nearby areas with big trees where birds nest and sing, offering a lovely symphony every morning. As the day continues, however, the crescendo of the city noise makes it difficult to hear the birds singing. One day, during my morning prayer time, I realized that listening to the birds singing was good practice for listening to God’s voice. I decided then to focus on the sweet singing and block out the routine morning noises of the city. This, I thought, is how we are invited to seek and focus on God in the midst of daily distractions. This focus – our full attention centered on God – is what allows us to draw closer to God, around us. In an anxiety-filled world, intentional study of scripture strengthens our connection with God. Remaining focused on God’s voice and presence will prompt us to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and allow us to rest on God’s promises.
Whenever we face anxiety, it is important to find peaceful ways to focus on God’s voice calling us to focus on the beauty with which God surrounds us. That focus helps us to remember God’s presence and peace in our lives. I invite you to consider those parts of God’s creation that help you to focus on God’s peace and calm, especially when we are under particularly difficult stresses.
Creator God, help us to remain focused on your grace, goodness, and the sights and sounds of your presence around us as we seek to serve your kingdom on earth. Amen.
--Juan Carlos Gómez
Someone beginning a new Prayer Discipline.
Thought for the Day:
Amid the distractions I will focus my attention on God.
Seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 (NIV)