Daily Devotions

I Complete Me

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I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I was watching a news story the other night about women who are not dating anyone at the moment, taking vacations by themselves. These women are not willing to live sad, boring lives when between significant others. There is a company that brings groups of single women together for trips and vacations. This way women can take trips with more safety and the women can enjoy their vacations with other individuals. There have been life-long friendships made from these experiences.

I was moved by these women and their commitment to life. They did not need to rely on someone else to “complete them.” I’ve never liked that phrase from the movie “Jerry Maguire.” It is important for all of us to feel comfortable in our own skin. One of the hardest things in life to accomplish is knowing that you are valuable, worthy, and fun. It is important to affirm that you are exciting and someone you love and enjoy. If there isn’t someone around to share your life with, you should still be able to enjoy your life because you enjoy being around you.

This is yet another reason to evangelize our Christian faith. God made us in God’s image. We are worthy because we are an extension of God. Most anger, violence, and injustice in this world begins with self-hate. That is why it is so important for people to understand that they are unique, special, and loved by God. The more individuals are comfortable in their own skin, the less anger and hate they will experience and express. Pray for our Christian churches, that we will be able to share God’s affirmation in people’s lives. Pray for those who feel alone in this moment in time. Rather than have them feel somehow incomplete, through your Spirit, help them realize that she/he remains whole and blessed. When this happens, life can continue to be lived to the fullest.

Riding the Wave

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There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. (1 John 4:18)

After my second year of seminary I took an internship year in Florida. I’d take the youth group to the beach and we’d body surf. It would be fun riding the waves; but the event itself was a wave, with its inevitable wipeouts. It was exhilarating watching the youth having such fun and trying to catch a wave, which wasn’t easy for a Minnesota boy. It was also challenging. I was constantly watching the flags for sharks and youth were constantly getting hurt. It felt like every time we went to the beach; I was peeling a man-o-war (a type of jellyfish) off one of the youths. It was icky and if I grabbed it wrong, it stung. Riding the waves meant taking the good with the bad, catching the great wave, with the inevitable man-o-war. 

Having an exciting life is a ride, like catching a wave. It only works if you can accept the good with the bad, the joys with the challenges. I probably wouldn’t enjoy taking the youth to the beach now, at 56 years of age, as I did when I was 23 or 24 years of age. Now, I would be too anxious that I was responsible if a kid was bit by a shark. I am smarter now and would have known that some kids are just jellyfish magnets; and, I would get awfully tired of pulling off the man-o-war and getting stung.

In our lives, it is important to ride life’s waves. But we must come into it with eyes wide open to the reality that riding the waves isn’t just about the glorious moments. If you are only willing to ride the waves on the sunny days, without sharks and jellyfish, soon, you won’t make it to the beach at all. We must continue to face the difficulties of life, or the joyous waves will allude us. A person of faith trusts God to help us ride the moments of difficulty. When we become so averse to challenges, we lose the opportunity to experience the exciting wave ride. Don’t give it up. Trust God to help you continue to face life’s challenges, so you can continue to ride a huge, fun wave!

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