One of the first things I learned as a Sunday school teacher is that one child will always cry for their parents. Sunday after Sunday at least one child dissolves into tears after the people who make them feel secure have left the room.
I gently explain to each child that their parents are nearby, that their parents brought them to the class to help them learn. It does not mean that they have been abandoned or will be separated for very long.
Then, when a particular challenge disrupted my world and left me feeling helpless, I understood how the children feel. As I look back I wonder: Why did I fear? Why was life so difficult? Why did I feel lonely? My Lord was nearby, watching over me, but also allowing me to learn and build character.
Now when adversity threatens to make me feel distant from God, I reflect on those distraught children during Sunday school. With renewed confidence I repeat: “God is nearby.”
Come back each day to read the daily Upper Room: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
TIPS FOR YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS:
Before you begin: Sit quietly for 30 seconds or so to settle your spirit. Take a few deep breaths and get comfortable.
Read: Open your Bible and read the portion of scripture suggested beside the date. After you read, pause to think about the passage. What comes to mind? What in it got your attention?
Quoted Verse: The quoted verse relates to the central point of the day's meditation. Read it slowly and think about its meaning for you. Once or twice a week you might memorize a quoted verse.
"Story": These meditations are written by people from around the world. After you read the main part of the page, ask yourself, "How do this person's words connect with my life?"
Prayer: To end your quiet time, pray the prayer at the bottom of the page. You may want to add to it, mentioning people or situations that come to mind during your reflection.
Thought for the Day: This element invites you to respond or sums up an idea from the day's reading. Repeat the thought a few times and recall it through-
out the day to remind yourself of what you heard from God.
Link2Life: This suggests ways to connect your life of prayer with your life in the world. L2L may suggest Web sites to visit; however, we do not endorse any site. Readers should use their own judgment about acting on information they may find.
Prayer Focus: This suggests a subject for continuing prayer after your devotional time, joining with believers around the world in doing so.
To start a meeting: Online is a list of current meditations by subject and dir-
ections for using them to begin meetings at: devotional.upperroom.org/resources/