When I am a wasteland, you are the water. When I am the winter, you are the fire that burns. When I am a long night, you are the sunrise. When I am a desert, you are the river that turns to find me. What have I done to deserve love like this?

from “Love Like This” by Lauren Daigle (2018)

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God, you have ordered that your decrees should be kept most carefully. How I wish my ways were strong when it comes to keeping your statutes! Then I wouldn’t be ashamed when I examine all your commandments.
I will give thanks to you with a heart that does right as I learn your righteous rules. I will keep your statutes. Please don’t leave me all alone!

Psalm 119:4-8

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I’m sure this has happened to you. Walking outside, just minding your own business, and then you get wrapped up in a spider’s seemingly invisible web! After you get caught up in the stickiness and clear your body of the residue, it is normal to go back and look. There it is. That web that a minute earlier had gone so unnoticed, when focused upon, is right there.

They're hard to see. They're fine in composition. They blend in with the background of nature. You might even have to strain your eyes to examine your surroundings in order to see them. Once you do, you can see a silken anchor thread leading to a tree or building and notice the beauty and intricacy of this work of art designed to catch insects and, I guess, people.

Looking for God’s instruction can be like this. The Psalmist says they are examining – looking closely at – God's commandments. Whether it catches us by surprise or reveals its full shape, when we tilt our lives just right, we can still see, hear, and maybe even live, God’s loving instruction toward us.

Byron Vance

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O God, your guidance in my life is what I need. I want to follow your lead. Help me to fix my gaze on you and hear what you have to say into my life. Amen.

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So many things attempt to take priority in our lives. They each have their place.

Only one stands at the heart of things. Follow the voice of this One, our Lord, calling you today.

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.

Fallow Ground

Carter Harrell

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