Encouragement for Today
Susanne Scheppmann, Co-editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
John 20:26-28, “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (NIV)
The smell of home cooked sausages and griddle pancakes wafted throughout the tiny café. The steamy air from the kitchen hung like a curtain throughout the crowded room, but we didn’t care. We jammed ourselves into the lobby and took a number. My husband and I knew the piping hot breakfasts were worth the wait for a table.
A young waitress, with spiky fuchsia hair, hustled from table to table juggling plates heaped with food and cups sloshing with fresh brewed coffee. Her toned body appeared tireless as she scurried back to the kitchen. I would have dropped with exhaustion if we had traded places.
Finally, we were seated at a well-worn table that happened to be exactly where the energetic waitress bounded from the kitchen with each order. However, she had a problem. A corner wall blinded her sight when she scurried from the kitchen area with her orders to serve the hungry customers.
However, the waitress solved the problem by shouting, “Corner!” each time she strode out of the cooking area – translating to anyone within colliding distance, she was coming around the corner and to watch out!
Throughout my breakfast, the repetitive shout, “Corner! Corner” peppered my ears.
As I thought about her succinct warning, I contemplated different corners in my life; points where I rounded a spiritual corner with such determination there was no stopping or going back.
I remember the first corner. I knelt in a musty dank basement at the age of 15 to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. Deep within my spirit and soul, I recognized Jesus as my God, just as doubting Thomas did when the risen Jesus appeared to him.
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:24-28, NIV)
That day Thomas declared Jesus not only as God, but also as the Lord of his life. However, I mistakenly chose Jesus only as God. I wanted to control my own destiny. I knew what I desired from life and believed I could accomplish my dreams without any help. I did not need a Lord or Master.
Although almost 15 years later, after making broken shambles of my world, I made a life altering decision. I shouted a faith-filled, “Corner! I am changing direction.”
I decided to allow Jesus not only to be my God, but also the Lord of my life,— my Master.
With that pronouncement, suddenly my path became clear. Obstacles of indecision disappeared. Faltering faith gave way to trusting the hand of God in my life. Finally, the promised abundant life to me existed on a daily basis. I turned a spiritual corner and I will not go back.
Oh, I still juggle heavy plates of troubles. Steaming disagreements with others still threaten to spill over into my life, but I know that if I allow Christ to lead me, I won’t bump into disastrous results of my own making. Instead, I follow Him around the different corners of my life knowing and trusting He is in full control. I rely on 2 Corinthians 2:14 that promises, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ…” So within my spirit, (and sometimes aloud), I shout, “Corner! My Lord and My God! My Jesus!”
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Father, Help me each morning to shout “Corner!” I want You to be the Lord of my life in every situation. I thank You for the patience You have with people like Your doubting disciple Thomas and my stubborn self. My Lord and my God, You are worthy of my praise, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today take an inventory of your life. Think through situations where you doubt God’s ability to handle it. Try to write on paper the areas in your life where He is not the Master. Pray and ask Jesus to help you relinquish your life completely into His nail-scarred hands.
Why do I want to control my own destiny?
Do I trust God’s hand in my life and my family’s?
What “Corner!” have I gone around in my spiritual walk of faith?
2 Corinthians 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” (NIV)
Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (NIV)
Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (NIV)
John 14:1,”Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” (NASB)
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst
P31 Woman Magazine
Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson
Originally published Friday, 02 December 2005.