Squeezed!

October 13, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Robin J. Steinweg –

I cannot see ahead nor behind me. SUVs block the view from the windows of my little Ford Focus. I’m focused, all right; I have no choice. Inches to my left are construction posts. To the right, an eighteen-inch drop-off leers at me with jagged, concrete teeth. There were no orange safety barrels to bar my fall if I waver.

My grip on the steering wheel drains the pink from my knuckles. I’m squeezed between a disastrous drop and posts lined up like sentries waiting to whack scratches into my car if I get too close. And if I bump one, will I overreact and careen into the abyss on the opposite side? I’m forced to sit tight (literally) and follow the car in front of me. I hope it’s trustworthy to stay on the road!

I like wide, safe boundaries and a clear view when I travel. Not only on my roads, but through life. Yet there are times when, like pothole-ridden highways, my life needs redirecting and repaired. God shows me signs that I am once again under construction. I feel squeezed into a narrow space, no view ahead or behind, disaster on either side.

Road crews don’t want casualties. Neither does God. I can follow Him and trust that He hems me in, behind and before. He’ll guide me straight and true. I can relax my vise-grip.

PRAYER: Lord, You know the beginning from the end. You have a clear view. When I’m in that tight place, help me to trust You because You’re trustworthy.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8 NKJV).

Hand-Me-Downs

September 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Robin J. Steinweg –

Five years of fashion separated my older sister’s wardrobe from my eager little frame. As I inherited the stylish clothes she grew out of, the clothes often hung off of me, because I could not wait until they actually fit. Many times, by the time they did, the trends had changed. Five years is a long time in the world of what-to-wear.

As a believer in Christ, I also inherited a wardrobe from Him: garments of salvation and robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), a crown of life (James 1:12), a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8), a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4), and a full set of armor (Ephesians 6:13-17) which includes the accessories of shoes and a belt!

Garments from the first-born of creation (Jesus) never wear out and are always in vogue for Christ-followers of either gender. They provide the perfect fit.

AUTHOR QUOTE: I’m perfectly clothed wearing the garments of God.

“…to bestow on them…a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3 NIV).

Got Nothing?

August 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Robin J. Steinweg –

Sometimes I’ve got nothing. I might have overextended my energy or been sick, or had little sleep due to tending to others. Whatever the cause, sometimes I’ve got nothing left.

In the Bible, “nothing” is a void for God to fill. He created all that exists out of what was not.

God excels at taking little and making much. Israelites without food? Manna falls from the sky. No water? A touch of the rock and water flows. Gideon with only three hundred soldiers? The enemy— routed. Jars of oil and flour that never run out; a virgin’s womb carries the Son of God; water becomes fine wine at a wedding feast; a few fishes and loaves feed over five thousand—with leftovers. Broken, empty lives—like mine—made whole and filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

So when my emotions tell me I’m like a balloon with pinpricks at both ends, let me contrast how I feel with what God does with my nothing:

From depleted—to completed and replete.
From exhausted—to recharged and teeming with energy.
From drained—to supplied and satisfied.
From emptied—to filled and overflowing.
From spent—to infused and content.

Got nothing? God can do something with that!

AUTHOR QUOTE: God can do more with my nothing than I can with all my somethings. With God, “nothing” is possible!

“And I pray that you…may have power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17b, 18a,c, 19 NIV).

Good Company

July 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Robin J. Steinweg –

“One of my students needs the same things repeated every week,” I said. “It’s like she’s never seen a quarter note before, and she still can’t identify the keys. She’s bright; her parents say she practices, so it must be me. Do any of my words stick with any of my students? What’s the point?” I had lain awake wondering if most of my life had been spent pouring water into a sieve.

My husband, Tom, responded, “How many students have come into our home over the years? Of those few hundred, how many have continued to play or sing—one percent? Two at the most?”

The question kicked me in the stomach. I’d already imagined that if I worked for a large company, Quality Control would’ve handed my head to HR (that’s Human Resources, AKA Heads Rolling) on a tin platter. In Willy Wonka’s factory, I’d have gone down the Bad Egg chute.

“Wait! Hear me,” Tom said. “After years of lessons I don’t play piano anymore, even though I’m a musician. But the impact those lessons had on me will continue to affect my life forever. It’s not just about playing piano. The time you spend with that little girl… you just don’t know. That is priceless.”

My husband isn’t named Thomas—“good company”—for nothing. Those encouraging words have fed me for years. He’s given me an example to live up to. My goal this new year and every year is for my words to be good company, just like my husband, Thomas.

QUOTE: Words are the most powerful thing in the universe…Words are containers. They contain faith, or fear, and they produce after their kind. –Charles Capps

BIBLE VERSE: “To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is.” (Proverbs 15:23 ESV)!

One-Eighty

June 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Robin J. Steinweg –

I sat at a table in the food court just after Christmas. Three teen girls squeezed in next to me. I found myself included in their conversation whether I chose to be or not.

“My grandma gave me ten measly dollars.”

“That’s better than what I got. At least you get to pick out something you want. I’m stuck with ugly mittens and a hat—that my grandma made.”

I pictured a gray-haired lady in a tattered shawl and fingerless gloves huddled close to her space heater. She ignores the searing pain in her knotted joints as she knits (having gone without lunch for months in order to afford the yarn), smiling wistfully and fondly praying over this granddaughter with every painful stitch.

Manna. In Exodus 16 God’s people were hungry. He sent heavenly food to them with the dew each night. It tasted “like wafers made with honey.” By Numbers 11, they were tired of manna. They whined about it. And then Moses complained about their complaining. God became “exceedingly angry” and sent quail until they were so sick of it, it came out their nostrils.

The third girl spoke up. “I’d be happy for even a hug from my grandma. She died a few months ago.”

The girls got quiet. They got the point.

Not only they: I looked at the brand-new coat I’d planned to replace that day, complaining it wasn’t quite my style. I thanked God for it, took the money I would have spent on a new one, and tucked it into the Salvation Army bucket. Grateful.

PRAYER: Lord, You’ve caused a one-eighty in my perspective and reminded me to be grateful. Thank You!

BIBLE VERSE: “O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:12b NIV).

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