May 19

The Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. Deuteronomy 26:7

Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them?  Luke 18:7

How many of us have cried out to God for help day and night, for help with illness, the loss of a job or of a loved one?  That’s true for most, if not all, of the people reading this devotion.  

I tried writing this devotion for the last couple of evenings, but there were too many thoughts running through my head, thoughts of the hardships people have always faced, and how they seem to have amplified in the last few months with the added stress of the pandemic. So many people are crying out for justice, from the families of victims of violence to people marching in the street demanding freedom from the restrictions we’ve been asked to live with. 

In Luke 18, we read the Parable of the Persistent Widow. There was a woman who kept going to a judge to ask that justice be done for her in a dispute with a neighbor. At first he was unwilling, but she kept coming back to him until he did the right thing, if only to be rid of her. Jesus compares this to the chosen ones who cry out to God night and day that justice will be done for them: I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?  (Luke 18:8)    

To me at this moment, justice for the world and a return to normalcy seems far away, and there are no easy answers. Still, we have faith in God and will not turn away, just as He will not turn away from us. In nearly every search I did, trying to find inspiration for this devotion, I seemed to come across the phrase “pray without ceasing.”  I hope I’ll be forgiven for thinking that “without ceasing” sounds like an exhausting endeavor, but yet another search taught me that the Greek word for “without ceasing” is adialeiptos, which means constantly recurring.  

I can’t imagine running a marathon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go for frequent (if socially distant) walks. The idea of small, frequent prayers for peace and justice and healing is something I know I can and will do.  

The day that I write this devotion we were all invited to be united in prayer in solidarity with all faiths (or little faith, or no faith at all) for healing of the world from Covid-19. I hope you heard about this and participated, or if not, that you will pray as you read this. 

Heavenly Father, our healer and our redeemer, please look upon us your children with forgiveness and love, and heal our illnesses and troubles. Comfort the families of those who have died, and soothe us in our fear and anxiety. We pray for strength to do the work that needs to be done, for patience to work with others who have different ideas from ours, as we ask you to give them patience to work with us. Guide our leaders to make good decisions throughout the world. Thank you for the gift of the lives that have been saved and we pray for their continued recovery. 

Sustain us, lead us, and remember us. Amen.

Peace

Lynda Tysdal