Devotion - June 16

While Pastor Laurie is away, our devotions are from members of the West Side family. It's a gift to hear and join in how others in our fellowship are walking with Jesus during this time.

Today’s devotion is from West Side missionary Vic Trautwein. Leslie and Vic Trautwein were members at West Side from 1994-1996 and have been West Side supported missionaries with Kids Alive in the Dominican Republic since 2002. They have four children: Sam, Micah, Luke, and Hannah Chase.

At 55 years of age sometimes I feel like I have been alive a long time and seen a lot of things. Recently, however, I have found myself saying to our four young, adult children on various occasions that I have never seen times like these. Pandemics, racial violence, strife and confusion seem present everywhere. But I also know that these things aren’t a surprise to God nor are they even new. Nevertheless, quarantines, curfews, working from home and more are major adjustments and call for thought and reflection. The principal question, we’ve been asking our co-workers in the DR throughout this time what does God want and how best do we glorify Him each day despite rapidly changing plots and scenarios. What hasn’t changed is our ability and need to trust God and his Word. Verses that help me always are ones like Micah 6:8

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Or Colossians 3.12-13 which reminds me “… to clothe yourself in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience …” and “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” These verses remind me how I must respond to my circumstances on a daily basis and have little to do where I am and what I am doing or the level of uncertainty day to day. They are much more about my loving interactions with others and my moment to moment attitude.

Finally, I sometimes reflect on the Israelites, God’s chosen, and how often they seem to be wondering where is God or why he didn’t seem to be with them (even though he always was). That seems like a relevant question to many in these days too. One of those passages is Isaiah 58 when in verse three the Israelites ask that exact question. God replies in so many words to stop going through religious motions and start loving those in need around them. He implores them to “loose the chains of injustice” and “set the oppressed free” (verse 6). Then when you call, “the Lord will answer. . .,”Here am I.” (verse 9). And he goes on to promise that if you do these things “your light will shine in the darkness” and that even in the desert or sun scorched land “you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (verse 11).

In closing, with God’s word as a guide, it seems we have plenty of challenges for today but also much to look forward to in the future. May God bless you and your family in these challenging times. And thank you for your prayers and support for our work helping at risk children in the Dominican Republic.

Posted in