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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Monday, October 14, 2013

Next Day

Why is it almost always in the wee hours of the night that I wrestle with the struggles I am going through in my life? When I'm worried about my child, I can't sleep. When I have doubts about what I am doing at work, I toss and turn. When there are tensions in my marriage, I keep rolling over in bed, looking at the clock—1:04 a.m....2:36 a.m....3:42 a.m.—and desperately waiting for the alarm to tell me it is time to get up. It is as if my soul is wrestling with my heart to make some sense of what needs to be done in the face of the trials of this life. All I desire is for the unknowns, the worst-case possibilities to fade away, and for the morning to come.

And then as often dawn arrives. The morning sun shines forth with hope and the promise of something different, something new to come my way. It comes with a blessing from God and the promise that God remains with me, my strength and my song, as I deal with the problems in my life. Thanks be to God for never leaving me when I struggle, for listening when I cry out, and for guiding me to yet another sunrise and the start of a new day.

O God, as we struggle and wrestle with the problems in our lives, give us your blessing. Help us to face each new day with the courage and strength and peace that only you can give. Amen.

Karn Carroll
Phoenix, Ariz.

Genesis 32:22-31 (NRSV)

22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had.
24 Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.
26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me."
27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob."
28 Then the man said, "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed."
29 Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved."
31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

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