The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, July 7, 2022 comes to us from Chuck Hudspath of Illinois.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11 NIV
“Putting God First”
It had been a stressful workday, and I was very distracted on my way home. While I was waiting at a traffic light, a truck pulled up behind me and honked. I glanced in the rearview mirror but did not immediately recognize the vehicle. As I waited for the light to turn green, the truck honked several more times. Once the light turned green and we began moving, the truck switched lands and started to pass me. I looked over and saw the driver smiling and waving at me! He was someone I knew, and he was just honking to be friendly. I simply had not been paying attention.
During the rest of my drive home, I wondered how many times in my life I have not listened when God tried to get my attention. All too often I have allowed stress to distract me and block out God. My concerns are significant, but it is a problem when I allow my cares to be a higher priority than God. Peter tells us to “cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). Rather than worrying, I can give my cares to God.
I know that stress, worries, and anxiety can indeed distract our focus from what is most important around us. Trusting God with our worries and stresses can help us to focus on the important work before us, whatever that is. Leaning on God to alleviate our stress can help us to focus on building our relationships with each other and on reaching out to others who might need to experience God’s gracious loving kindness. I invite each of you to consider ways in which you can turn your stresses over to God, then focus on more important relationships and outreach in your life.
Merciful and loving God, help us to put the events of life in the proper perspective. You are first; everything else is second. In Jesus ‘name. Amen.
Workers who feel stressed.
Thought for the Day:
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you. (Ps. 55:22)
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Matthew 13:7 (NIV)