Pause

Waiting can be very hard.

But sometimes as we wait, God does the most important work in us. Keeping focused and watching carefully for God’s good work in our world can renew us each and every day.

Slow down for a moment, think, reflect, and pray for God’s work as you watch and wait.

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Listen

For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

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Think

When I was in college, I had a very close group of girlfriends. Through the trials and adventures of dating, we developed a theory about relationships. We dubbed it the “rubber band theory.” Imagine a rubber band stretched between two people. If one party in a dating relationship became too clingy, the other party would pull away, creating uncomfortable tension. When both parties were celebrating both their individuality and the gifts of shared time together, there was just the right amount of tension keeping them balanced by the space they needed to thrive together.

Today’s passage is not necessarily about the ups and downs of dating, though there are many. But the rubber band theory applies here just as well. In the scripture, the intent is to remind Christians that we must encourage one another, placing that imaginary rubber band around all of us and holding us together in our shared faith in Christ.

What’s the good news about that rubber band? It’s big enough to encompass God’s entire creation! Stretch the circle out today wherever you find yourself. There’s room for everyone.

Jeanell Cox

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Pray

God of encouragement, give me eyes to see those around me who need to be welcomed into your circle of care. Thank you for the many ways you encourage me. Above all, I am thankful that your circle of care is big enough for the entire world. Amen.

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Go

Go in the light, living as a person of the day, including all those around you and yourself in the circle of God’s love. Anticipate the joy of God’s good work in you and in the world. Watch and wait with hope. Amen.

Jeanell Cox

Jeanell Cox is a Board Certified Chaplain who is currently employed by the North Carolina Chaplains' Association as the Administrative Coordinator. She is married to the Rev. Christopher Ingram. Together they have three sons and one lazy dachshund.

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