Friday, June 21
Today's reading: Judges 13:21-25
The final exchange between Manoah and his wife in Judges 13 grabbed my attention because what takes place has happened to me many times. You see, I am a bit of a perfectionist, which mostly means I want to do right and not make mistakes. But then there are times when I look back on a past situation and start analyzing it. The more I continue to think about it and how I didn't do something "right," the more the fear factor kicks in. This can quickly lead me down the path to anxiety, and in this anxious state, my perspective and reasoning are clouded. Thankfully, like Manoah, I have a couple of people around me who can listen to what I'm thinking and then speak more accurate and rational words back to me. Hearing their words has a calming influence and helps get my thinking back on track.
Immediately after Manoah realizes that he has been conversing with an angel, fear sets in, and his mind jumps to the conclusion that they are going to die. "We shall surely die, for we have seen God" (vs. 22). Thankfully, Manoah's wife provides some needed perspective by calmly stating a more accurate assessment of what has just taken place. She reminds Manoah about what God has promised them for the future: "If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these" (vs 23).
We all need people who will help us think clearly and more accurately. Who is someone you can turn to when you are having doubts or fear or are in need of counsel or direction? Are you willing to be that person for someone else? What does this passage show us about strong relationships and the importance of being able to speak candidly and truthfully in them? Tami
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