Be Still My Soul
by pastor Andy Lauer
Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion is to do this after you have dinner around the table together. At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.
Read Matthew 13:24-30
One of the important truths Jesus teaches in Matthew 13:24-30 is that, in spite of the fact that good and evil coexist together, there is coming a time when the two will be separated—the good with the good, the evil with the evil. This is a picture of the contours Kingdom that should give us great hope. It should also teach us the importance of patience, especially during a time like we’re experiencing now.
In verse 27, when the owner’s servants discovered the enemy’s scheme of sowing weeds among the wheat, their immediate thought was to pull them up. The owner explained that doing so would damage the wheat in the process. The weeds of this world are plentiful and exceptionally bothersome, even painful. Yet the temptation to deal with them ourselves, to take matters into our own hands, is to preempt God in His wisdom from dealing with sin and evil, and in the process we might even do damage to the good around us. What might this look like?
Years ago, a young teenage girl in a church I pastored, who had been through many difficult life experiences, shared with me how she had been hurt by a friend who had ended their relationship. When I asked why, she explained that the her friend had been taught at her church to stop being friends with those who might have a negative influence in your life; this is wise advice when applied correctly. However, because she had shared with her friend about some of her past hurts, her friend decided that the negativity she had experienced was something she did not want to be associated with. Sadly, my young teen’s friend misapplied the wisdom of being discerning about friendships and applied it to what should have been a positive relationship and opportunity for encouragement and growth. When we attempt, on our own, to separate the wheat from the weeds, we run the risk of doing the same.
Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you exercise trust and caution when dealing with the evil that grows up around each of us. Jesus’ words are not a call for tolerance of evil, but instead a reminder that judgment and removal of evil is part of His plan, in His time. Allow the words of Katharina von Schlegal’s powerful hymn to speak to you today, as you embrace this truth:
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to they God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.