Devos for the Day?
I always thought that daily devotions were for the day. A “good Christian” who regularly takes time to center themselves on the Creator of the world, recognizing their belovedness, being in the Word, taking time to intercede and pray.
I had a hard time with daily devotions. I was too distracted. Too tired. Too busy. The standard too high. After leaving them altogether for a season, I started experimenting with guided studies, books from the mystics like Rohr and Nouwen. I expanded my definition of what it meant to “center myself” and went on hikes in nature, advocated at justice rallies. I finally found myself come alive in the world of tradition. Lighting candles, incense and The Book of Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals became my fare. And it was good.
Sometimes daily devotions were for the day, helping me connect with God in a powerful way or affecting my behavior, sometimes they were for others, prompting me to be quick to encourage, or help out. More often than not though, it felt like they were for nothing – a routine, a good one at that! But this changed when I realized that daily devos are not for the day.
The Worst Thing Imaginable
No one expects the unexpected – the phone call from Dr. saying its cancer, the miscarriage, death… the worst thing imaginable that happens to “other people.” But it happened to me…and all I could do was drive for hours and cry, and cry and drive. I wandered through life in a hazy fog, my eye twitched for 10 days straight. Outbursts of the most colorful language I could find, afternoons spent with my body paralyzed and a mind full of adrenaline.
I knew I had undergone a major earthquake, pillars of the known, the secure, the planned future had crumbled and fallen. Devastation and its mess surrounded me, fallout everywhere on everyone… but I was alive. I looked below my feet and found a foundation that had not shifted, that had not broken up. That is when I realized daily devotions are for disaster.
The House on the Rock – Matthew 7:24-27
You see the unnatural rains came down, it was a torrential downpour and so the floodwaters rose up. The news came and pummeled me and my emotions rose up so high I panicked! The hurricane level 5 winds worked against me as I struggled to get out of bed in the morning and mixed into a toxic cocktail of opinions, doubts, the Enemy’s voice and my inner-critic. I was exhausted. The rain was unrelenting, I was chest-deep in swirling flood waters and utterly spent as the winds blew and slammed against my house.
“…and Yet, it did not fall, it had been founded on the Rock.”
After a month the initial flood waters receded, the rain only came in fits and bursts, but not a downpour, and the hurricane wind – ever-present, had been reduced to a tropical storm. But my house was still standing.
Devotions were the bricks of my Spirit- infused foundation. Years of soaking in Truth, of believing my Belovedness, of remembering God’s faithfulness throughout centuries, of claiming God’s promises- all built up a powerful foundation on the Rock.
When that Day of Disaster comes, and it will come, it is not about conjuring up our own strength to fight, for surely we will be weak, but it is about trusting that our Foundation will hold us up.