Highways To Zion - Judy Nichols
Highways to Zion is a weekly devotional message written by Judy Nichols and aired on WVMC FM.
We are in the thick of the holiday season right now. Thanksgiving is just behind us; Christmas and New Years are still ahead. Making provision is what we area all about in these days. We buy big turkeys and pumpkin for pies, we bake things ahead and clean the house. We buy and/or make presents for loved ones near and far, wrap them, mail them, and sometimes even go into debt for them. We decorate our homes, ourselves, and our cookies. Making provision seems like a full-time job in this season.
Who do you think you are? What are your strengths and weaknesses? These are questions that might be answered in your job resume, or asked at some kind of psychological seminar. Who we think we are impacts every facet of our lives, our relationships, our work performance, our thought life, our whole destiny, in fact.
I remember a time in my life when doing, added to thinking, made a huge difference. Always a shy, introverted person, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d only been working at my job a few weeks when a bridal shower for a co-worker was coming up. They invited me to come, even though I barely knew any of them, even saying I neednÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bring a present. I dreaded the awkwardness IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always felt in unfamiliar social situations, and bridal showers with their silly games are the ultimate in bungling affairs. But I decided I would go anyway. They were reaching out to me and I thought I should make the effort to reach back. I thought I could do it, but if I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t gone, I would never have known for sure. It was the doing that changed me.
Psalm 136 begins with the words, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His loving kindness is everlasting." After two more verses exhorting us to give thanks, the writer gives an overview of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s acts of loving kindness toward Israel. These include His acts of creation, redemption from slavery in Egypt, rescue of His people from the armies of Pharaoh, guidance through the wilderness, defeat of mighty kings on their behalf, endowing them with a land of their own, and remembering us in our low estate. Remembering GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gracious acts on our behalf is always a good way to spur us to give thanks.
My three-year-old granddaughterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life has been one of struggle. As an infant, she struggled to breathe; she struggled with eating because of reflux disease. She struggled with repeated eye infections and had to have her tear ducts surgically opened. She struggled with low muscle tone and still struggles with learning to speak. Every skill she has mastered, every milestone she has achieved has come at the cost of great struggle.