Daily Devotional

Matthew 28:20

I am with you always, to the end of the age.

So many people I talk to recently are struggling with loneliness. These conversations have prompted me to share an experience I had as a JARON missionary in the Czech Republic in 2019. I hope my experience can be an encouragement.  

Click – Clack – Thud- grumbles my suitcase as I drag it along the cobblestone streets of Prague, Czech Republic. I have just finished teaching (through an interpreter) a group of ministry leaders and pastors’ wives. I have been to many countries around the world, but this is the first time my husband and I have ministered in separate locations.  

My new friend and interpreter from the retreat, Hana is guiding me to the hotel where I will spend the night. We turn into a cobblestone alley, my suitcase complaining all the way. Upon entering the hotel lobby, Hana makes arrangements with the desk clerk. I don’t understand a word of their language. Hana says goodbye and I make my way across the lobby as my suitcase hums across the smooth floor.  

I step inside my room, and lock it snugly. A quick glance tells me I have all I need. Pulling aside the window drapes I see the alley. Dropping the drapes back I am struck with the reality I am truly alone. I hear my heart beat. My only companion is my suitcase. I lift it to a bench and zip it open flat. The sound of being alone is loud. Every simple movement I make seems to scream, “I am alone!” I take my Bible out and it makes a plopping sound on the bed.  
 
I finally admit to myself, I am scared. What if something happens and I need help? The desk clerk does not speak English. I swiftly grab my phone and adapter/charger and plug it into the wall.  Good, I have a phone! In an emergency, I could call my dear husband….but he is far away. He really could not come to my rescue here. I could call Hana. What if she doesn’t answer? Sitting down on the edge of the bed I feel sheer panic begin to rise. I feel truly alone.

Verses begin to pop into my mind, like popcorn popping on a hot stove. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Another pop, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” And other, Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Another pop, 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Finally, I acknowledge the presence of God in my room! “Thank you Holy Spirit for bringing to my mind your Word!” I AM NOT ALONE! I chuckle out loud as I remember one of the topics I just taught to the women was on “Loneliness.”  

As I snuggle under the covers and my head drops to the pillow, another verse pops in my mind. Proverbs 3:24 “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

I awake refreshed and victorious in the morning! Hana arrives on time and we wave to the hotel clerk and step outside. My long journey home has begun. Hana and I chat pleasantly as we walk down the cobblestone alley. My suitcase sings behind me… Click – Clack – Thud. I am not alone. God is with us.

FOR PARENTS:

1. Teach your kids that God is always with them. Help them memorize verses such as Matthew 28:20.
2. Tell your kids about something you did that was really scary and how you overcame your fear with God’s help.
3. Inspire your kids to embrace adventure. Help them do something scary and hard, knowing that they will always have God with them. Don’t force them—inspire them to try!  If one activity does not work, try another. Ideas: Take a gymnastics class; learn how to ride a bike; learn how to climb rocks; go camping; sleep in the backyard under the stars; learn how to swim; sing a song to an audience.
"English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers."
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