Dear Ones,
Hope your day is full of peace and joy. Al has gone to Men’s group, and I am baking. I just made a zucchini cake so Al can take to his friends, and I can give to the sweet man who gave me the zucchini. Today is Donut Day and Bible Study and time to get my hair done.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  One day I was reading about God’s care for me, and the song came to mind by a Jesuit priest, Bob Dufford, “Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.” Even if we go through raging waters or burning flames, we know that God is with us and at our side to give us rest.
  In our heart of hearts do we believe God really cares for us and all that concerns us? We often hear of miraculous ways God may provide for someone who is in desperate straits or a rescue of what seems to be someone in an impossible situation, and we are amazed. But then when we are worried over a situation in our own lives, we may wonder, God do you see and really care? A thousand times Yes, He does! God also gives us freedom and He doesn’t step in to prevent us from doing our own thing, which may bring suffering. But even in our pain He is with us and reminds us that He is God and to let Him take over and bring good out of even the adverse circumstance. His perfect love for us can cast out our fears. (I John 4:18) Only by trusting Him will we have peace and rest.
   I was reading James Smith’s book, Embracing the Love of God, and He decided to go through the book of Mark and underline every verb that described Jesus’ action… like He came to be with us, He blessed, He laid hands on people, He showed compassion, He died, He taught, He forgave, He loved etc. He also gave us so many promises that will cover every need we might have, but not necessarily answer in the way we desire. But it’s best to trust God’s wisdom, not our own since He sees our hearts. As we commit our concerns to the Lord, we will find that His answers are better than we could anticipate. That is so true when we went to our son’s in N.C. recently, God had so much more awaiting us than I had prayed for or anticipated. There are also times we suffer but even in those times, He is always with us. One of the last things Jesus told his followers, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matt. 28:20)
   Let us bundle up our concerns in a package, as Smith shares, and then give them to the Lord as a care package, for they contain all our concerns. The Lord will receive them gladly and we can rest that He will do what is best.
   Challenge for today: Release your specific concerns to the Lord and rest as you wait for His answers.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy