Readings: Exodus 16:1-15, Hebrews 12:1-3, Matthew 6:25-34
“Open now thy gates of beauty; Zion, let me enter there, where my soul in joyful duty waits for Him who answers prayer,” so begins the hymn by Benjamin Schmolck that our 8:00am worshippers will sing Sunday. We’ve been waiting for some answers to prayer and can surely relate to the “joyful duty” of the soul as it waits on the Lord. Yesterday, the Lord answered three of our family’s prayers in one day! That joyful duty of persevering turned to quick thanksgiving. The reading above from Hebrews 12 includes this often quoted line, “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” I saw a little example of persevering this week. I bought some grapes, imported from Mexico, put them in the refrigerator, and washed them up the next day. As I pulled one off to test its sweetness, I saw a wet ladybug hugging the stem. As I was reaching for the lifeless body, it started moving. Wow! The little creature traveled from a Mexican farm to a Scottsdale store, probably in extreme heat, survived washing and packaging at some point, then was refrigerated for days, then survived more handling and another washing. It actually had the strength to fly away in our back yard. Maybe that was some miraculous answer to a ladybug’s prayer, or maybe it was God’s example to me that He can bring a joyful answer to even the most life-challenging experiences. Persevere, friends, in that joyful duty of waiting expectantly for the Lord. Praying that He will delight you with joy and freedom!