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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Daniel 4:34–37           

When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored the one who lives forever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does what he wills with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can stay his hand or say to him, “What are you doing?” At that time my reason returned to me; and my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom. My counselors and my lords sought me out, I was reestablished over my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are truth, and his ways are justice; and he is able to bring low those who walk in pride. (NRSV)

Reflection
“You have to go through the bad to get to the good.” That was what Miss Mary used to tell my friends and me growing up in our small Southern church. It was one of the original “it gets better” campaigns. It was daunting to hear that as a child, and it still is. A lot of the times, things do seem to get worse before they get better. Knowing there was something better at the end gave me hope and helped me to have something to focus on when things did get hard. I always knew that things would be better in the end.

In this passage from Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar had just come out of fulfilling his own dream that Daniel interpreted for him: he would live as a wild animal away from his kingdom, but once it was over, all would be restored. These are the words he spoke to God to restore his kingdom and his sanity. His submission to God is when things changed for him. But the king had an advantage: through Daniel, he knew things would get better.

There are many in our world who wait for things to get better, but their wait seems everlasting. For many, hearing that things will eventually get better is not comforting, because there is no promise of it. But through God, we know that things can change and we can be restored. Like Nebuchadnezzar, things only turn around when we bring ourselves before God. No matter how broken we might seem or how tired we are from the battles of life, we will always find renewal through our relationship with our Creator.

Prayer
God, we come before you as broken people in a broken world. Help to restore us and make us whole again. Help us to weather the storms of this world and come out new and whole. Amen.

Written by Shelley Donaldson, Senior High Youth Coordinator


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