Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27, 2014 … Life’s Darkest Moments

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 239

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … Please take the time to see a short clip of Billy Crystal’s tribute to Robin Williams … and then GO TO THIS VIDEO -  of Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly singing the poignant song Beauty For Ashes, which reminds us how God can take life’s darkest moments and turn them into beauty for His glory

Highlight Passage: 1st Kings 19: 4-5… [NKJV] … About Elijah’s lowest moment …
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” 5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 
Highlight Context #1 - NKJV: 1st Kings 19: 1-8 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #1: Psalm 23 … [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK ...  The Lord is our GOOD SHEPHERD, even in moments of deep despair …  

Reference Passage #2: Proverbs 3: 5-6… [NKJV] …
5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 
6  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall make your paths straight. 

Reference Passage #3: Matthew 11: 28-30 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Randy Kilgore, took me back to the lowest moment in the life of Israel’s greatest prophet, Elijah. Remember, … he was the one who prayed down rain and fire and defeated the sorcerers under King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, who then came after Elijah. And in today’s highlight passage, we read of God’s great and mighty Prophet, Elijah, reduced, in despair, to praying for God to take his life [see 1st Kings 19: 4]. 

Recently, in moment of despair and apparent depression, one of the world’s great funny men, Robin Williams (see photo and link to a brief segment from a tribute to him at the Emmy Awards) took his own life. And many were left to wonder how a man, who could create so much happiness, could/would feel so down that he would take his own life. So, why didn’t Elijah, in his lowest moment do the same, and that is, to end his own life? And the answer to that is also found in today’s highlight verse, where’ll you’ll note that Elijah didn’t take it upon himself to end his own life. No, Elijah, as opposed to Williams, put his life, as low as it was, into the hands of His Lord.

Elijah had a strong enough faith relationship with His God to believe in the truth of Psalm 23 and Proverbs 3: 5-6 - referenced above. He was as low as one could get; but Elijah knew to put his lower-than-low life into the hands of God, trusting that God would do the right thing for/with him; and we know from the rest of today’s highlight passage, … God did just that!

But apparently Robin Williams didn’t have the ability to trust in a God Who restores and renews in the face of our lowest moments. We don’t know if Robin Williams was a believer in Christ. Only God can know that; but his faith was certainly not strong enough to give His life over to His God, as did Elijah.

You know, fellow Christian, reading here. We’re going to have those WAY LOW moments in our life; … moments like others in the Bible had … men like Jonah, Moses, Job, and others had; … moments so low that, like these men and Elijah, we might pray for God to take our lives. But as Christians, we need to remember the promises from our Lord to be our Good Shepherd (see Psalm 23) … or from our Savior, Jesus, Who promises to always be there in those oppressive moments and to let us use His yoke to help us in our times of troubles (see Matthew 11: 28-30).

The question becomes, if/when we face moments like the one Robin Williams or Elijah faced, do we believe God’s promises; and are we willing to put our lives TOTALLY in God’s hands. Because if we are, He will ultimately lift us up and Shepherd us from “the valley or the shadow of death” into His garden of peace and joy. I will pray that we will trust our Lord to be our Good Shepherd.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, take any reading here from the low valleys of despair to Your high place of peace and refuge. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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