Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more

This Is . . . the Voice!

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

I decided to take up walking to get in shape. One program after another on television touted how beneficial it was to the entire body: inches would miraculously disappear, muscles tighten up and, better yet, body parts return to their pre-baby positions.
Not only that, but this would all happen in a matter of days. And (this part really appealed to me), it was free! No joining a gym or buying fancy workout clothes…just a good pair of tennis shoes and a place to walk and I had both of those.
So for two weeks I crawled (and I do mean crawled) out of bed at 6 a.m. and drove the short distance to the high school track to work on disappearing inches and tightening muscles.
I did not have a plan of action as to how I should pace myself to get the maximum benefit from walking; rather, I complained mentally each and every day when I did not see immediate results like those get-fit-quick programs had promised.
One early morning after only 8 days walking at the track I allowed myself to become frustrated. The only thing to disappear so far was my enthusiasm.
I was mentally trying to get my mind to tell my body to get with it when I glanced to my left and saw an elderly gentleman with a cane struggling to get up a slight incline to the track. I was trying to decide if I should run across the field to help him when I saw an unbelievable sight!
He not only reached the track but immediately tucked his cane under his right arm and began walking with the stride of a man half his age. I nearly stopped in my amazement until I realized that if I didn’t get moving, this gentleman of at least 80+ years would pass me!
I tried not to stare, but it became impossible as the elderly man kept his near-perfect gait, step after step. I found myself very curious as to how he was able to move with such ease and increased my pace to try to catch up with him.
As I came up on his right, the gentleman smiled at me but never missed his stride and I soon realized why. He was evidently hard of hearing and had on earphones and an IPod turned up on high so he (and I) could clearly hear a loud, drill-sergeant type voice repeating in perfect cadence “Come-on-now-you-can-do-it. You-can-do-it. You-can-do-it. Step. Step. Step. Step.” He was not only listening to that voice of encouragement, but he was obeying. It became obvious that he had a definite goal – walking to get in shape – and he was focused on the encouragement that he received from the voice on his IPod to reach that goal.
Four days later, I again found myself on the track as the gentleman struggled up the incline and began to walk but this time, the result was completely different. After only a few feet, the man stopped suddenly and turned around. I slowed up to see what was wrong, when he smiled and said “I’ve got to go back to my car. I forgot my IPod. I need that voice to keep me going!”
Today’s Key Scripture in Isaiah also refers to listening to a voice – the voice of the Lord. In today’s society we hear so many voices with so many commands to go in so many directions. God has given us freedom to choose the direction we would like to walk.
But when we decide to listen to encouragement from the world and not the One, we can easily stumble and fall.
Listen for His voice today. Choose Him. Look in His Word of encouragement to you. Come-on-now-you-can-do-it!

Lord, please keep my focus on you and your voice in this world with so many trying to pull me away. Help me to remember your encouragement to keep going and to listen to you for wisdom and strength for whatever journey I am on. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

When the journey you are on gets discouraging, who do you go to for encouragement and advice? A close friend? The Lord?

Write down encouragement Scripture passages on note cards and tape them inside your kitchen cabinets and on your mirror.

Memorize those Scripture passages so that, when the journey makes you weary or discouraged, you can remind yourself that you have a Father who understands how rough the road can be.

Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV) “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

Proverbs 4:11-13 (NIV) “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”

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Copyright 2010  Nancy E. Hughes