Pause

Give me a Jesus who meets me in the rushing, crashing waters of my questions. Let me stand precariously close to the dark and menacing skies of doubt, so I can hear the fierce and gentle loving voice of my Jesus who drowns out my fears and stands just beyond my questions with open arms.

Michael Yaconelli in Dangerous Wonder (1998)

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Listen

Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed? Why are you so upset inside? Hope in God! Because I will again give him thanks, my saving presence and my God.

Psalm 42:11

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Think

Several years ago, when my parents were visiting, my mom noticed a plant that was in pretty sad shape. It was scrawny and shriveled. After many months of “caring” for it, we had finally allowed it to take up final residence in the bathtub. I guess you could say that we had pretty much given up on it being a permanent fixture in our home.

Mom looked at it, took pity, and asked if she could take it home with her. I guess I thought, “Sure, go for it. You can throw it out as well as we can.” When I got the plant back a few years later, we almost had to rent a truck to get it home. What had started in a 6-inch pot with no leaves and a couple of dead-ish branches had returned in a 24-inch pot and with a four-foot wingspan. My mom rescued the plant. God can rescue us.

There is hope when we place ourselves in the presence of one who can save.

Byron Vance

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Pray

O God, my Saving Presence, I turn to so many things before I turn to you. Yet you are the one who never leaves my side. Rescue me with your gentle care that I may grow even more healthy through you. Amen.

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Go

Stay awake that you may see the many ways God is with you each day.

Byron Vance

Byron Vance is a United Methodist minister serving as Senior Pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Pell City, Alabama. He gets to share life with spouse Kelly, two teenage boys, a dog, a cat, and the occasional squirrel in the crawl space. Byron served as a PASSPORT summer staff in 1997.

Inside and Out

Jon Chacko

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