Daily Devotions
 
Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Jeff Teeters

I don’t understand why so many things are going the wrong direction. We’re all facing frustration and impatience or maybe it’s even exasperation, fear, and anger. Months of praying have not controlled COVID or wildfires. Centuries of prayers have not yet reversed the exclusion or repression of countless groups. 

Isn’t it easy? Stop spreading disease. Stop using anger as the first (and sometimes only) response. Jesus even put it in bright red letters in the old family Bible:  “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law....” (Matthew 7:12). We have a rule; let’s follow it. I just don’t understand.

Twenty years ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t understand that either. Surgeries, chemotherapy, and experimental trials. The human medical efforts would not be enough. The oncologist estimated that she would not live through the year. I had never prayed harder for anything. To be honest, frustration and impatience... and anger were building too. 

A greeting card arrived in the mail from a friend. Philippians 4:7 was printed on the card:  “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul’s 2000-year-old words were comforting, but the note that Jack added somehow made a bigger impact. Jack wrote: “Now, more than ever, I wish you that peace.”

I can’t explain why, but I stopped praying only for my preferred cures and miracles. Instead my prayers started asking God to bring my mother peace – in whatever form God decided. A few short weeks later, my mother passed away. It still hurt, but God granted peace to both of us.

I don’t understand why we have cancer, or COVID, or any other disease. I still don’t understand why hate, anger, and exclusion so often replace love, compassion, and welcoming. I also probably don’t fully understand what may be hurting you today. I’m not telling you to stop praying for health, safety, and justice. But for all that we don’t understand, remember that God and the Apostle Paul reassure us:  “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  

And please know that my friend Jack and I also offer you this:  Now, more than ever, I wish you that peace.

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2 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Pam Olson

The words I return to again and again are John 14:27 - “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” This peace is one of breath and a connection to the Holy Mystery. One that is beyond understanding, but one I can simply fall into.


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Kristin Kalsem

I loved your very impactful devotional Jeff. Thank you for sharing your story!

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