August 12 Devotional

Romans 12:12: “Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is — what is good and pleasing and mature.”

We are now 5 months into this pandemic, and I confess that I am growing weary of it all. There are days that I want to invite the virus into my presence and get it over with. But then I realize it’s not the virus per se that I’m afraid of, it’s what’s happening to friends, family, churches, businesses, people all around me that I care about.

Whatever normal is, I sure do miss it. I miss the freedom to go any direction I please at Publix, stand in line close enough to say hello to a neighbor, and wear my lipstick without fear of ruining my best face mask. I miss family gatherings and evenings out with friends and the gathering of our church family to worship God. I know you have lists of things you miss, too.

There are some things I definitely won’t miss — like arguments on Facebook and Nextdoor between people who argue every side of every issue even remotely related to this virus and who hurt one another and themselves in the process.

My heart breaks for the people who have lost loved ones and cannot gather together to grieve; still others have lost relationships that could not withstand the stress we’re living in, and I am deeply concerned for the many people who are in financial crisis.

What we are experiencing in the world right now leaves even the best of us vulnerable to the whispers of evil that will try to take up residence in our hearts and homes, businesses and even churches. We begin to doubt and question even the things that several months ago meant so much to us. But God has already conquered evil, and He has already given us everything we need to stand strong in the midst of this and any other crisis we will ever face. You and I can count on that.

The one aspect that sets you and me apart from all of creation is our minds. God gave us a mind capable of reasoning, capable of taking our thoughts captive, which gives us control of what we think about ourselves, our world and life itself. What you put in your mind will affect what you think, and what you think affects what you do. I have a workout instructor who reminds me that my body can only go where my mind leads it. Money expert Dave Ramsey reminds us that our money will only go where we tell it. Is it possible that we can calm the fear and negative talk within us by telling it to hush the way Jesus calmed the sea? I think so. God says so, and that’s enough for me.

This is the message God has for you today: He knows you. He knows every need, every longing, every fear, every dream, every doubt. He loves you. He is for you. You are His and He is yours. He will never, ever leave you. He is still on His throne, and He has control of everything, even this virus.

Grace and Peace,
René Watson, Minister of Adminstration