Psalm 40:1-5 (NRSV)

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. 4 Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods. 5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.   

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NRSV)

8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”   

DEVOTION Deb Vellines (Illinois)

On the news I saw that the storm damage was horrific.  Reporters interviewed residents who were not yet allowed to return home to see what damage their homes might have suffered.  Victims wondered:  Is my house still standing?  How much damage?  How do I face the future?

     Fear of the future canc include so many different forms:  job insecurity, fear for a loved one’s safety, financial challenges, and medical crises – to name a few.  My personal fear of the future is this:  in the next day or two, I will find out the results of a mammogram.  My mother died of breast cancer, so I’m at increased risk.  I’m usually able to give my cancer fears to God, but since the mammogram, the worried thoughts have multiplied and wreaked havoc with my imagination.  Like a flood, the thoughts have been over-whelming me, and I have felt as if I were drowning.

But in the midst of this anxiety, Bible promises reassure me that the God who has always stood by me in the past is with me today and is already in my future.  I realize ugly and difficult stuff may lie ahead, so I strive to have faith.  I know that I can trust God no matter what I face.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: With God beside me, I can be fearless.

PRAYER: Loving Father, help us to remember that you are with us in all circumstances.  Cast out our fear of the future.  Amen.