Note: The AMI QT devotionals for November 19-20 are provided by Christine Li. Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City. She attends Remnant Church in Manhattan.
Devotional Thought for Today
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
In college, after late nights of studying (or, according to our pastors, just hanging out), our church brothers would walk the sisters home to ensure that we made it home safely. I lived less than two blocks away from where we used to study; there probably would have been very little danger going home alone, but it was still a very nice favor. Now, as a more-grown person living far from my friends, getting home in the evenings can feel a lot less safe. I appreciate those memories more than ever – what a difference an extra presence can make in a dark situation!
As believers, we know that we will encounter troubling times and situations in this life. We might feel isolated or bereft at work and school; some of us even feel as though we face physical danger. Our instinct is often to look around and identify our support system – friends, teachers, loved ones – in hopes that they will support and protect us. There is no doubt that their appearance can be reassuring and comforting.
God’s word reminds us, also, that in every situation, we can be most comforted by His steadfast and faithful presence. Though He may not feel like a tangible presence, we know that we do carry His spirit with us wherever we go. Therefore, we can trust that whether we are in the valley of the shadow of death or in green pastures, the Good Shepherd is with us every step of the way.
On Sundays, we gather as believers to worship, and we should strengthen each other for the mission we are on the remainder of the week. Let’s encourage one another to be secure in His presence for all we face. We can remind each other that God is not far-removed from our lives; instead, He is present, attentive, and active in every situation. Let’s praise Him together for being Emmanuel – God with us – and take heart that, though He sends us into the world, He is the one who leads us on and protects us.
Prayer: Father, thank You for being Emmanuel – God with us. We know that when we are with You, we have nothing to fear. No matter where or how You lead us this week, give us faith to trust You. Please remove all fears and doubts, and flood our hearts with the peace that You bring once again.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 8