December 9, 2013

Happy are those… whose help is in the Lord

By Brian Sutter, a junior physics and informatics double major from South Bend, Ind.
THIS WEEK’S THEME: “Happy are those… whose help is in the Lord”
THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURES:  Isaiah 35:1-10 | Psalm 146:5-10 (5) | James 5:7-10 | Matthew 11:2-11
DEVOTIONAL:

By this time in Advent, the stresses of final exams and papers are upon us. But long nights of studying will soon be replaced with nights of sipping hot chocolate in front of the fire and enjoying time with family. A majority of the semester, however, is not quite so relaxing. Assignments accumulate, research papers continue to avoid writing themselves, and exams are always looming. Of course, I expect college to keep me busy, and I truly find joy in all that I’m learning, but it’s easy to forget that I can rely on something other than late-night cups of coffee to help me handle the workload. In the midst of my busy schedule, God is there, calling me to place my trust in Him.

This week’s devotional theme is “Happy are those…whose help is in the Lord.” The scripture passages describe God’s unwavering commitment to justice and to God’s people. Indeed, God is committed to helping people through much greater trials than college homework. We are reminded that God will protect the orphan and the widow, lift up the downtrodden and set the captives free. God will create streams in the wilderness, and the desert itself will rejoice and blossom. God knows those uncertain wildernesses that hold each of us captive, whether they come in the form of strained relationships with loved ones or endless stores filled with holiday bargains and stressed shoppers.

In this season and in life, God calls us to look towards Him for our source of help. We are called to pay attention to the signs of God dwelling in the world around us, here and now. By seeking the help of the Lord, we begin to notice the blossoms in the desert, and we, too, can rejoice and be happy.

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Comments (12)

  1. Thanks, Brian, yes, thanks for reminding us and you are on the right track. Blessings, Wilma Shank

    Wilma Shank December 9, 2013 |
  2. Amen and Amen! And power to you during this week of finals!

    Gwen December 9, 2013 |
  3. Thank you very much. Amidst all of the awful things that are happening in my life right now, this is a wonderful reminder of where my source of help comes from and that is where I will be putting my focus this week.

    Ruth Martin December 9, 2013 |
  4. Blossoms in the desert – YES! Looking for those today – thank you for that reminder. I think I saw one last evening and missed it at the time. I needed that prodding.

    Ted Gillette December 9, 2013 |
  5. Wonderful devotional
    Appreciate the reminder to look for the signs of God all around us.
    Happy Advent & Merry Christmas! Enjoy your finals :)

    Wayne Lundberg December 9, 2013 |
  6. Truly God is with us transforming and renewing even the most difficult challenges. Thank your for the reminder and may your papers and exams go well! Blessings! Katie Cunningham

    Katie Cunningham December 9, 2013 |
  7. Thank you Brian, I have a difficult situation right now–don’t know how it will be resolved–need to be reminded that God is in charge and will lead me through to the other side.

    Mary Hughes December 9, 2013 |
  8. “Happy are those.…whose help is in the Lord.” Brian what a wonderful reminder that as I lay my burdens down I should be happy knowing I am not going through this life (or any difficulty) alone. My happiness should be steadfast, as its source does not come from the world. As the college faces hard decisions, I struggle to remain happy all the time. Your devotional challenges me to do just that- so thank you!

    Pamela Kistler-Osborne December 9, 2013 |
  9. Thank you for this reminder. Going through difficult times can make it hard to see the blossoms in the wilderness. Each day I pray for God to show me that. Have a blessed day!

    Sandy December 10, 2013 |
  10. This is a concise, well-written piece. God has blessed you with the gift of words; may you use that gift with joy and purpose throughout your life.

    Carol Graber December 10, 2013 |
  11. Thanks Brian. College days are a LONG time ago for me, but I do remember! It’s overwhelming, but fun too! If it gets too much, take a moment to reflect, stretch and…yes, offer up a prayer. It isn’t gonna take the test for you, but it WILL give you that extra ‘push’!

    Debbie Lackowitz December 10, 2013 |
  12. Thanks, Brian! A surprising request, if you have time while at home in So. Bend — take a copy of what you wrote and leave it at the office of Bishop +Ed Little [Episcopal Dio. of No.Ind. there in So. Bend] and tell him it is a gift from a wanderer in the deserts outside Deming and Columbus, New Mexico. My bet is that he will know exactly who that wanderer is. You can also tell him that I recommend that you be considered as a prospect for deacon or priest in the Episcopal Church.

    Norm Morford December 11, 2013 |