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Journey with Me: 365 Daily Devotions

Journey with Me: 365 Daily Devotions

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Journey with Me: 365 Daily Devotions

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Sep 20, 2018


Catherine Campbell invites you to journey with her through the year as she shares 365 Bible meditations that have touched her heart and changed her life.

Using an eclectic mix of readings, character cameos and anecdotes, Catherine takes us across new terrain every day. As with life, some paths will be smooth and scenic, while others are steep and stony. The journey may be unpredictable, but the map is trustworthy and the Guide always present.

‘As surely as winter blossoms into spring, and autumn eventually carpets summer lawns, God’s word will excite, challenge, heal and guide us in the year ahead,’ says Catherine. ‘So, let’s walk together!’

Sep 20, 2018

Sobre el autor

Catherine Campbell lives with her husband, a pastor, in Northern Ireland. Previously, she worked as a nurse but now spends her time writing and speaking. Many of her books focus on issues surrounding life’s tough stuff and what the Bible has to say in response. Two of her three children were born with profound disabilities, and this experience provided the catalyst for Catherine’s literary journey. Her close-knit family, especially her grandchildren, and friends, provide her with all the love and laughter she needs to help her relax. She is the author of seven books, including God Knows Your Name and Rainbows for Rainy Days.

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Journey with Me - Catherine Campbell

Also by Catherine Campbell

God Knows Your Name (Monarch Books, 2010)

Broken Works Best (Monarch Books, 2012; 10Publishing, 2018)

Under the Rainbow (Monarch Books, 2013)

Rainbows for Rainy Days (Monarch Books, 2013)

When We Can’t, God Can (Monarch Books, 2015)

Chasing the Dawn (Monarch Books, 2016)


36 Causton Street, London SW1P 4ST, England

Email: ivp@ivpbooks.com

Website: www.ivpbooks.com

© Catherine Campbell, 2018

Catherine Campbell has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as Author of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher or the Copyright Licensing Agency.

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked


are taken from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked


are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, a member of the Hachette UK Group. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of International Bible Society. UK trademark number 1448790.

Scripture quotations marked


are taken from the iWorship Daily Devotional Bible, New Living Translation, published by Integrity Publishers (2003), a division of Integrity Music.

First published 2018

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN: 978–1–78359–726–0

eBook ISBN: 978–1–78359–727–7

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Typeset in Great Britain by CRB Associates, Potterhanworth, Lincolnshire

Printed in Great Britain by Ashford Colour Press Ltd, Gosport, Hampshire

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Inter-Varsity Press publishes Christian books that are true to the Bible and that communicate the gospel, develop discipleship and strengthen the church for its mission in the world.

IVP originated within the Inter-Varsity Fellowship, now the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship, a student movement connecting Christian Unions in universities and colleges throughout Great Britain, and a member movement of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. Website: www.uccf.org.uk. That historic association is maintained, and all senior IVP staff and committee members subscribe to the UCCF Basis of Faith.




who completed his final journey during the writing of this book


also to

the church family of Coleraine Congregational Church,

who have allowed my husband and me to walk with you through

your joys and sorrows for the past eighteen years.

As a new journey begins for both of us may we

each experience God’s leading and continued blessing,

remembering that ‘He is faithful!’





1 January

2 January

3 January

4 January

5 January

6 January

7 January

8 January

9 January

10 January

11 January

12 January

13 January

14 January

15 January

16 January

17 January

18 January

19 January

20 January

21 January

22 January

23 January

24 January

25 January

26 January

27 January

28 January

29 January

30 January

31 January


1 February

2 February

3 February

4 February

5 February

6 February

7 February

8 February

9 February

10 February

11 February

12 February

13 February

14 February

15 February

16 February

17 February

18 February

19 February

20 February

21 February

22 February

23 February

24 February

25 February

26 February

27 February

28 February


1 March

2 March

3 March

4 March

5 March

6 March

7 March

8 March

9 March

10 March

11 March

12 March

13 March

14 March

15 March

16 March

17 March

18 March

19 March

20 March

21 March

22 March

23 March

24 March

25 March

26 March

27 March

28 March

29 March

30 March

31 March


1 April

2 April

3 April

4 April

5 April

6 April

7 April

8 April

9 April

10 April

11 April

12 April

13 April

14 April

15 April

16 April

17 April

18 April

19 April

20 April

21 April

22 April

23 April

24 April

25 April

26 April

27 April

28 April

29 April

30 April


1 May

2 May

3 May

4 May

5 May

6 May

7 May

8 May

9 May

10 May

11 May

12 May

13 May

14 May

15 May

16 May

17 May

18 May

19 May

20 May

21 May

22 May

23 May

24 May

25 May

26 May

27 May

28 May

29 May

30 May

31 May


1 June

2 June

3 June

4 June

5 June

6 June

7 June

8 June

9 June

10 June

11 June

12 June

13 June

14 June

15 June

16 June

17 June

18 June

19 June

20 June

21 June

22 June

23 June

24 June

25 June

26 June

27 June

28 June

29 June

30 June


1 July

2 July

3 July

4 July

5 July

6 July

7 July

8 July

9 July

10 July

11 July

12 July

13 July

14 July

15 July

16 July

17 July

18 July

19 July

20 July

21 July

22 July

23 July

24 July

25 July

26 July

27 July

28 July

29 July

30 July

31 July


1 August

2 August

3 August

4 August

5 August

6 August

7 August

8 August

9 August

10 August

11 August

12 August

13 August

14 August

15 August

16 August

17 August

18 August

19 August

20 August

21 August

22 August

23 August

24 August

25 August

26 August

27 August

28 August

29 August

30 August

31 August


1 September

2 September

3 September

4 September

5 September

6 September

7 September

8 September

9 September

10 September

11 September

12 September

13 September

14 September

15 September

16 September

17 September

18 September

19 September

20 September

21 September

22 September

23 September

24 September

25 September

26 September

27 September

28 September

29 September

30 September


1 October

2 October

3 October

4 October

5 October

6 October

7 October

8 October

9 October

10 October

11 October

12 October

13 October

14 October

15 October

16 October

17 October

18 October

19 October

20 October

21 October

22 October

23 October

24 October

25 October

26 October

27 October

28 October

29 October

30 October

31 October


1 November

2 November

3 November

4 November

5 November

6 November

7 November

8 November

9 November

10 November

11 November

12 November

13 November

14 November

15 November

16 November

17 November

18 November

19 November

20 November

21 November

22 November

23 November

24 November

25 November

26 November

27 November

28 November

29 November

30 November


1 December

2 December

3 December

4 December

5 December

6 December

7 December

8 December

9 December

10 December

11 December

12 December

13 December

14 December

15 December

16 December

17 December

18 December

19 December

20 December

21 December

22 December

23 December

24 December

25 December

26 December

27 December

28 December

29 December

30 December

31 December



Iam deeply indebted for the wisdom of those more learned than myself. My research has included the writings of many biblical scholars both from commentaries (mostly from my husband’s bookshelves!) and from trusted online sources. As my husband always says, ‘Milk many cows, but churn your own butter.’ So I have been churning away with what I have milked from God’s Word and the intellect of others, in an attempt to make some of the more difficult concepts readable, and the simple ones profound!

Where I have quoted directly, I have made every attempt to acknowledge the source accurately. Apologies if I have missed any along the way.

I am also extremely thankful to the many friends and family who pray regularly for my writing and speaking ministry. Your partnership is an incredible blessing. I couldn’t do this without you, and already know that you will pray with me for God to use Journey with Me powerfully in hearts and lives.

To my husband, Philip, your patience, support and love strengthen my life, making it possible for me to stretch beyond what at times I think I cannot do. Thank you for releasing me to accomplish what God directs, not only in my writing but also in all of life’s current challenges.

And to God, who journeys with me day by day with unchangeable grace, thank You for sticking with Your unworthy servant. My heart is Yours.


The message in my inbox made me smile. Owing to a slip of the tongue, the editorial team found themselves discussing the possibility of my writing a year-long devotional – a ‘mistake’ they decided was worth following up. Having already two forty-day devotionals under my belt, I instantly warmed to their enquiry. I even had a working title. Journey with Me suited the idea I had of inviting readers to walk with me in the devotional sense. I’d take a year to write it and simply let others in on what God was teaching me along the way.

Sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you get it so wrong. I hadn’t realized how arrogant the idea of inviting others to ‘journey with me’ was until I hit an emotional rough patch. Feeling a bit like ‘Pilgrim’, I entered the ‘Slough of Despond’ feeling totally discouraged, and with my writing sinking despairingly. Only then did I sense God say, ‘Catherine, don’t you think it would be better if your readers Journeyed with Me, instead of with you?’

The ‘I did it my way’ attitude was not working, so with focus redirected, I decided to do it His way instead. The end result you now hold in your hands. For more than a year I’ve been listening, learning and journeying with the One who knows the path He wanted you and me to follow together all along. As with most journeys, my year of writing was filled with unexpected twists that brought many challenges of both the physical and the emotional variety.

My own personal journey with Jesus started when I was a teenager – full of life and exuberance – and only ever expecting ‘good stuff’ from the Lord. I never anticipated how high the mountains or how low the valleys would be that God would lead me through. The journey certainly delivered more than I could have imagined, including the deaths of two of my children. However, the biggest and best surprise I received was how deeply I would get to know the God who created heaven, earth and me. If I have any ambition at all for this book, it would be that some who make this journey at God’s invitation would come to know Him as I have. At fourteen years of age I gave Him my sin, and in return He gave me everything I needed to complete this convoluted journey called life. I think I was the winner in that ‘great exchange’!

So in Journey with Me we examine the big themes of life, the seasons and the church year. But most of all we consider God Himself – His Word, the lives of people He has changed, the enormity and wonder of His character, and the love He has shown us as members of His family, through His Son.

It’s a privilege for me to be published for the first time by IVP, although that transition has been made easier by working once more with the inimitable Tony Collins. Thank you Tony for your trust in my writing for seven books now, and for your wisdom in this particular journey – my longest to date!

Special thanks go once more to my two invaluable proofreaders, my husband Philip and my friend Liz Young. I’m sure IVP, and especially the professional editorial team, will be as thankful for your expertise as I am!

Two weeks before finishing this book my dear dad passed on to glory. He’d spoken for some time about the ‘journey’ he felt was overdue, while looking forward to his ‘plane’ taking off and reaching his final destination. I’m glad his last painful steps have finally transported him into God’s presence, but I miss him dearly. His encouragement and prayers for my writing, but most of all his devoted love throughout my life, are irreplaceable.

Finally, let me say how much I am looking forward to walking with you this year as we journey with God through the days and weeks ahead. May my words pale into insignificance as you experience His divine presence with you along both pleasant paths and steep mountain cliffs.

Catherine Campbell

Catherine would love to hear from you.

You can contact her via:

Facebook <www.facebook.com/catherinecampbellauthor>

or her website <www.catherine-campbell.com>


1 January

You crown the year with Your goodness,

And Your paths drip with abundance.

Psalm 65:11

Reading: Psalm 65

Queen Elizabeth pronounced the year 1992 as her ‘Annus Horribilis’. Virtually every month of that year had produced personal heartache for the monarch. The marriages of three of her children had crashed publicly. Millions viewed her personal sadness on television as Windsor Castle was badly damaged by fire. And on top of it all the press grumbled words of falling appreciation for the monarchy, which would culminate in further disaster for Her Majesty’s popularity following Diana’s death five short years later.

How would you sum up the year you have just left behind?

Was it one of the best yet? Did you marry, have a baby, start a new job, move house, retire, come into money? Was it simply all round great? And to add the icing to your happy-year-cake you sensed God’s presence and experienced His pleasure. Wow! It’s been quite a year. Be thankful.

Or would your summation of the past 365 days be that you are glad to see the back of them? All they’ve succeeded in doing is to cause pain, loneliness and confusion? Perhaps even a sense of abandonment by God, or at best less awareness of His presence. Might you go as far as to call the old year your ‘Annus Horribilis’?

Today we stand at an annual change point. We have no idea what lies ahead for the next 365 days. Yet each of us will undoubtedly desire that happiness will come built into those days. Life gives us no such guarantees.

Conversely, God promises to ‘crown’, or top off, the year with His goodness. The paths we will walk will ‘drip’, or overflow, with the abundance of all He has for us. However, happy circumstances may not be God’s choice of delivery, but He will come up with the goods. He always does.

Heavenly Father, I choose to leave behind what is past, and journey into this New Year with You, excited to experience the fulfilment of Your promises. Amen.

2 January

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

and into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Psalm 100:4

Reading: Psalm 100

Who doesn’t remember the childhood excitement of exploring what mysteries might be lurking behind some old gate we’d discovered? Thoughts of secret gardens, hidden delights and heroic challenges drew us into the unknown back then. Nowadays, entering a new year can rekindle a similar sense of anticipation for what lies just beyond our view.

In Minnie Louise Haskin’s poem ‘God Knows’ (‘The Gate of the Year’), she asks for a light to guide her safely into the unknown of the coming year. Instead she is told to put her hand into God’s hand, which is better than any familiar path.

In Bible times, city gates were extremely significant, with particular emphasis placed on the importance of entering, rather than leaving, through them. They were defence structures, providing protection from enemy attack, remaining open during the day and firmly shut during the hours of darkness. Wise town elders ensured they were overlaid with metal to prevent them being destroyed by fire, as poorly constructed gates could lead to disaster. Public meetings, judgments, markets and community issues were also discussed and settled in the courtyards just inside the city gates.

The gates the psalmist speaks of here are not made with hands, yet they provide unrivalled protection from danger, and from enemies who would seek to damage or destroy our lives. And within God’s gates lie the wisdom and guidance we need for all that lies ahead in the remaining 364 days of this year. Is it any wonder that we are encouraged to enter through them with thanksgiving!

As we meditate on what it means to dwell continually in His presence, and therefore under His protection, let’s give Him our fears and walk into the unknown with our hand securely held in His.

Lord, I give You praise for what it means to dwell within Your gates, and that my hand firmly held in Yours is better than walking a safe way alone. Amen.

3 January

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

and whose hope is in the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:7

Reading: Genesis 8:15–19

You only have to look at Noah to understand what it’s really like to go out into the unknown!

He’d been on that huge vessel for a whole year. When the earth eventually dried up, the door opened on a totally new world for Noah, his family and the other living creatures that had journeyed with them. The very geography of the planet had been changed by the ferocity of the flood.

Where had the ark transported them to? Was this new world a safe place to live in? What would they eat? Would the floods return?

Everything they had previously known was gone. Everything!

Noah did more than step into new territory; he stepped into a new year and a new life. The only thing familiar to him was the group of people he’d spent the previous year with, working on that boat. But wait, Noah hadn’t simply set off on some great adventure and built a boat to get away from all the trouble around him. No, his architectural feat had been under the direction of God Himself. God had plans, only some of which He had revealed to Noah before the rain fell.

For Noah, there were no unknowns as far as God was concerned. He knew exactly what was next for the one described in Genesis 6:9 as the man who ‘walked with God’. Noah had chosen to trust God, in spite of looking foolish during the many years that it took to build the ark. His hope for what lay ahead was in the One who had already proven Himself as faithful to the old builder who walked with Him day by day. That’s why Noah was able to leave the place of safety and walk confidently into the unknown. God hadn’t changed!

Lord, new beginnings can be scary, but help me to realize today that there are no ‘unknowns’ with you. May I, like Noah, walk with You, in whom my hope lies. Amen.

4 January

You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Colossians 3:13,


Reading: Colossians 3:12–15

Hollywood has long been fascinated with stories of time travel. The idea that you could travel back in time and fix some wrong, or save the planet by making a change or righting an error, might make for fun escapism, but it is far from reality. Life isn’t that simple.

Last year is over; its days cannot be reclaimed. Yet too often we drag last year’s issues with us into the New Year. Unkind words said, hurts experienced, broken relationships, festering grudges, arguments and love betrayed continue to cause pain and therefore influence our daily lives in what should be a fresh start – a new year.

In this letter to the Christians at Colossae, Paul is explaining the importance of living the new life given to them by Christ. This concept was totally foreign to them in a world where getting your own back was the way to deal with those who had wronged you. Remarkably, we’re told today, ‘Don’t get mad; get even.’ But Paul explains that this is not the way of the cross.

Amid all the resolutions of sorting out our body shape and fitness levels, we rarely purpose to make changes to the things unseen that have such a detrimental effect in our lives. A psychiatrist friend once told me that much physical illness is caused by unwillingness to forgive the wrongs done to us.

We are only four days into this New Year. Why not purpose to forgive someone who has wronged you? Refuse to drag the old into the new. It will be harder than dieting, or training for that marathon, but the rewards will be greater than you imagine. Remember, God carries no grudges against us.

Lord, this is hard, but I don’t want to live this year like last. You know who I am thinking about right now. Give me the grace to forgive and the strength to forget. Thank You for forgiving me. Amen.

5 January

‘Yes,’ Jesus replied, ‘and I assure you, everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over.’

Luke 18:29–30a,


Reading: Genesis 12:1–3

Are you a planner? Do you like to set yourself goals? I usually like to have a Plan B to fall back on in case things don’t quite turn out right.

Abram had no Plan B when he left the wealth and security of probably the most advanced city on the planet around 2000 bc. In fact, Abram didn’t even have a Plan A. Instead, he chose to trust in the plan of the God he had only recently come to know. Even that didn’t seem like much to go on!

Now the


had said to Abram:

‘Get out of your country,

From your family

And from your father’s house,

To a land that I will show you.’

(Genesis 12:1)

What did the son of an idol-maker do when he heard this? How did the man who had lived all his life worshipping the moon god respond? He got up and went! With no idea of where he was going, and only scanty knowledge of the God who had called him, Abram started on a journey. This journey was about more than covering miles, more than distancing himself from a comfortable life in an advanced city. His was to be a journey of developing friendship with the one true God.

Today there is a stress scale that measures how ‘life changes’ affect our mental health. Abram would have blown the scale when he left Ur! Everything was about to change. Yet we read of no anxiety on his part, because Abram cultivated that seed of faith in his heart and allowed himself to believe that God would make good on His promises.

Lord, that first step of faith is always the hardest; help me today to step out like Abram, believing that Your Plan A can be trusted wholeheartedly. Amen.

6 January

A Passage to Ponder

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea

And a path through mighty waters,

Who brings forth the chariot and horse,

The army and the power

(They shall lie down together, they shall not rise;

They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick);

‘Do not remember the former things,

Nor consider the things of old.

Behold, I will do a new thing,

Now it shall spring forth;

Shall you not know it?

I will even make a road in the wilderness

And rivers in the desert.’

Isaiah 43:16–19

Read the passage slowly and let the Author speak to your heart. Ask yourself these questions as you ponder this passage:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What is God saying to me?

How will I respond?

7 January

The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’

Acts 7:2–3

Reading: Hebrews 11:8–12

How did Abram feel walking through the gates of Ur for the last time? He went, it seems, without complaint, opting for the trade route north, which meandered through rugged, desert land.

It took a journey of 600 miles, involving months of travelling and living out of a tent, to reach the city of Haran. Months of hoping the next watering hole wouldn’t be dry, and that there would be enough grass for their flocks. The city man was becoming a nomad. But when they got as far as Haran, Abram stopped there. In fact, he did more than stop: he settled there.

Had God told him to? No. Why did Abram not journey on when he had started so well? Was the man of faith going to settle for halfway? What about God’s promise, if Abram obeyed?

Abram’s problem was partial obedience. ‘Get out of your country,’ God had said. No problem. ‘From your family.’ Ah, I’ll just take my orphaned nephew, Lot, with me. ‘From your father’s house.’ But my father is old; he needs me. And Abram’s lesson in obedience fell at the first hurdle. It seemed perfectly reasonable to him, but then Abram didn’t know what God did – how Lot would be nothing but trouble, or that Abram’s idol-worshipping father would delay God’s blessing in his life.

To Abram’s credit, he never looked back, or went back, to Ur. It was always his intention to follow God. He simply allowed his emotions and spiritual immaturity to get in the way of full obedience. Thankfully, God was developing a friendship with this brave man, and spoke to Abram again. And Abram left Haran and headed toward Canaan, where God met with him once more.

Lord, I can be easily sidetracked by what seems good, but is not necessarily Your will for me. Help me to listen carefully and obey wholeheartedly. Amen.

8 January

It was by faith that Isaac blessed his two sons, Jacob and Esau. He had confidence in what God was going to do in the future.

Hebrews 11:20,


Reading: Genesis 22:1–8

The four men slowly trekked through wilderness terrain, their donkey laden with wood. Isaac thought his father quiet, but put it down to recent family tension over Ishmael. Perhaps once they’d made their sacrifice on Mount Moriah, his father would be in better spirits. So Isaac quietly followed the man whom he loved and respected; who had taught him about the covenant-keeping God. He couldn’t have imagined what would happen next.

Later, when Abraham laid Isaac on that wooden altar, bound hand and foot, the young man didn’t resist or fight back. He could easily have overpowered the old man and run for his life. But he didn’t. Instead, he lay back on the wood and watched his beloved father raise the knife high above his head, ready to slay him – the son of God’s promise!

And in that moment of horror, the result of Abraham’s willingness to obey God’s command by faith, Isaac heard God’s voice for the first time. ‘Abraham! Abraham! Lay down your knife . . . for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from Me’ (Genesis 22:11–12, nlt).

Is it any wonder, when the time came to commit his own sons to God’s faithfulness, that Isaac did so without holding back? He had learnt from the master of faith, his own father, on that hill outside Jerusalem years earlier, that God can be trusted, even with what is most precious to us. Abraham believed that even if Isaac were to die, God would raise him to life again in order to fulfil His promise to make a great nation through his descendants.

Isaac had personally experienced the reward of costly faith, therefore, ‘He had ­confidence in what God was going to do in the future’ (Hebrews 11:20, nlt).

God of the everlasting covenant, I leave my future with You, confident that You can be trusted with whatever lies ahead. Amen.

9 January

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.

Hebrews 11:24–25

Reading: Hebrews 11:23–29

For Moses, life was looking good. In spite of a shaky start he was now a member of an opulent family, living in one of the strongest kingdoms on earth. He had been given the finest education available, lived in luxury, and faced a future that most could only dream of.

But he wasn’t happy. Moses knew deep down that he didn’t belong in the palace of the kings. Childhood memories of a God not made by human hands, or covered in gold, woke the young prince from his sleep. In classes on the victories of Egypt his mind often wandered to stories of another community – the Hebrew citizens of Goshen: a nation of slaves who served the very people Moses had been taught to call his own.

They were poor. He was rich. They lived in hovels. He lived in a palace. They were nobodies. He was somebody. They had no future. He had everything to look forward to. Or had he? Moses couldn’t get away from the fact of his birth, couldn’t get away from the injustice and inhumanity he was party to every day. What could he do? He was only one man. But the day came when he could no longer straddle the fence. The man who was to become Israel’s deliverer came to a place in the road of life where he had to choose, not necessarily what might seem best for him, but what was right. Yet amazingly, when that happened, neither side wanted him (Exodus 2:11–15)! Instead he found himself in a lonely place, but it was there God could finally shape him for the job that lay ahead.

And it all began with a choice.

Lord, life is filled with all kinds of choices. What seems best may not be right for me. Help me to leave the outcome with You. Amen.

10 January

Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

Reading: Psalm 46

It would be forty years before Moses would return to Egypt. And it took every one of those years for God to ready the man of His choice for the Exodus. Moses had to lose his Egyptian-ness, his need for position and power, his confused identity. He had to learn what it was like to eat more dust than fine food, to lie on rocks instead of silk sheets, to be another man’s servant, to herd stubborn sheep through the wilderness, before leading an obstinate people across the desert.

But more important than all of this, Moses had to learn the art of stillness in order to hear God speak. In the mundane of life’s ordinary tasks, away from the limelight, in the backwaters of Midian, this man was getting to know God. And God was in no hurry.

That fact always amazes me. God is never in a hurry. We fill our days with family, work, church and even ministry, believing that busyness equals godliness, that activity equals spirituality.

Yet, in reality, the times of greatest spiritual growth come when we are obedient to God’s command to be still. For Moses, stillness came with life in a foreign and difficult place. Only then, and with the passage of time, did Moses hear God speak.

Recently this verse in Psalm 46, to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’, has been tugging at my heart. ‘But how can I slow down, Lord? I’m so busy with life and ministry . . . and it’s for You, Lord,’ I’ve argued. Yet the consequence of my busyness is often that I end up serving from an empty cup.

‘Be still, child,’ the master cup-filler whispered, as family and health issues moved me to a different place. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m listening for His voice again in the ordinary everyday, and learning that change is not to be feared. It is God’s way of reminding us that knowing Him is more important than serving Him.

Lord, teach me to seek for stillness. Remind me that it is there I will find You. Amen.

11 January

‘For with God nothing will be impossible.’

Luke 1:37

Reading: Exodus 14:13–16

The hospital lift doors closed slowly as the conversation with self began. Why didn’t you ask God to heal her? Unwilling to admit my habit of praying safe prayers, I rehearsed the content of what I had actually prayed. I had asked for God’s help, wisdom for the doctors, relief from pain, and peace for both patient and family. Surely that was all good?

But why do you never ask God to heal someone? Not just ‘someone’ – that person you were just with?

Because I didn’t want to get their hopes up, I replied to self. God doesn’t always heal, or not in the way we want Him to. But my logic couldn’t lift my heart from my boots.

It can be so easy to quote Luke 1:37, can’t it? But there are times when the outward expression of faith drags behind the words.

When Moses heard God say, ‘But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea’ (Exodus 14:16), he did just that. The Egyptian army was almost upon them. The Red Sea blocked their escape. They were trapped! It was time to move beyond mere words – time to act, in faith, believing that the God who had said He would deliver them would actually do it. But it still required one thing from Moses. In faith, he had to lift up his rod and stretch out his hand over the sea, and then God would divide

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