December 21, 2010

Dec. 21: And the sky opened up

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By Lynelle Yoder, a sophomore elementary education major from Goshen
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 63:7-9 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:

This past summer, I trained for and ran my very first marathon. I can still recall one particular training run that happened to be especially torturous. I was running after church on a sweltering August afternoon, and had completed about one quarter of my 17-mile run when a sharp pain began to shoot through my right hip. Determined to press on, I continued to run in a state of hot, painful misery.

Suddenly, without warning, the sky opened up, and I was drenched in an absolute downpour. The pain in my hip increased to an excruciating level, and my gimpy jog slowed to a walk that stung my pride right alongside my hip. The rain eventually slowed to a drizzle, finally ceasing.

Then, just as suddenly as before, the sky opened up once again. This time, however, the clouds released not rain, but sunshine so bright that my breath caught in my throat – its effect on the clouds was magnificent. It was as if the entire sky was a canvas covered in paint. The scene was simply unreal.

In that very moment, I felt God’s presence with overwhelming strength. I sensed a promise, as if God was telling me, “Lynelle, whenever you feel painfully alone, I will always be at your side. I will carry you every step of the way.”

It is this promise that God has given to each of us. God’s presence will always save us. Just as God did with the house of Israel, God will lift each of us up and carry us in the arms of mercy. God’s steadfast love endures forever. Hallelujah!

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 63:7-9 (NRSV)

I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, “Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely”; and he became their savior in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

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Comments (10)

  1. How encouraging, Lynelle! The longer we live in Him, the more we see His faithfulness. Thank you, for sharing.

    Ruth December 21, 2010 |
  2. Grr, just lost my message because I forgot to inolude my email… Thanks for your great story. my question is did you keep on running that day?? I used to be a “slow” runner” and did 5k”s, but now am in my 5th week of recovery from bilateral knee replacements. Am told I should not run again. But I can still swim and spin! Patience is such a hard discipline for me. All the docs say I look great, so I am grateful, but still buggy waiting for complete healing.
    Run a few miles for me today! Thanks. Joyce

    Joyce Hunsberger December 21, 2010 |
  3. Lynelle, what a beautiful way to breathe life into this scripture passage–by recounting your own story of the “praiseworthy acts of the Lord.” Thanks for this personal reminder that the Lord our God still gives us signs of steadfast love and the promise to always be with us. A great way to start my day.

    Janice December 21, 2010 |
  4. VERY GOODYOU KEPT PERSERVERING AND THE SKIES OPENED UP AND SHOWED YOU GOD’S HANDIWORK

    MITCHELL JONES

    mitchell jones December 21, 2010 |
  5. Lynelle, very appropriate illustration of this passage. Thanks for sharing this observation.

    Lori December 21, 2010 |
  6. Lynelle, thank you for letting us in on your running experience and for sharing how God spoke through that experience.

    Ruth H. December 21, 2010 |
  7. Your personal sharing has been an inspiration and encouragement to me…….thanks, Lynelle.

    Sue B December 21, 2010 |
  8. Great writing, Lynelle!

    Emily December 21, 2010 |
  9. Another way for us to ponder “Emmanuel..God with us..”
    Thank you.

    jane

    Jane December 21, 2010 |
  10. Funny how when we “feel” most alone, that is when we are most enveloped in his love and if we stop….we can feel his presence the most! Thanks for the reminder He is always with me.

    Wendy Snaith December 23, 2010 |