Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Next Day

The psalmist prays for God to rescue him from the miry depths of his enemy's contempt. Then he adds the phrase "at an acceptable time." The wisdom of this phrase becomes apparent when we discover, often the hard way, that God's timing is often so much better than our own.

Yet as a media saturated people we are often impatient with hymns with several verses, long prayers, and long sermons. Over the course of years, we have grown used to catering to our short collective attention spans. But we come by that impatience honestly.

We get our TV programs "on demand." We set our DVRs so we can watch our programs "on our time" rather than when they are scheduled, and when we can fast forward through all the commercials. We eat instant food when at home and fast food when we eat out. And when we order something online, we happily pay a few extra dollars to get the merchandise delivered earlier. Is it any wonder that we are an impatient people?

But God does not answer prayers "on demand." God's timing usually is not instant. God slows us down from the hurry and scurry of our impatient world and teaches us patience when he answers our prayers on God's time, not ours. In the end, God sets us straight.

God, give me the patience to endure the waiting after prayer. Give me the wisdom to know your timing is better than mine. Indeed God, take your time and mine. Your answers are worth the wait. Amen.

Jeff Gross
Pastor, Living Lord Lutheran Church, Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Master of Divinity , 1994

Psalm 69:7-18 (NRSV)

7 It is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my kindred, an alien to my mother's children.
9 It is zeal for your house that has consumed me; the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10 When I humbled my soul with fasting, they insulted me for doing so.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them.
12 I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help
14 rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the Pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress—make haste to answer me.
18 Draw near to me, redeem me, set me free because of my enemies.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.