I’m prayerful tonight because I am planning to go on sabbatical for the next two weeks. Although we will be here for the next several days, tonight is the last post for this week and next Tuesday, Janet and I head to Hawaii to celebrate our 40th anniversary on August 24th. It’s one of the places we have always talked about but have never found the time to visit. Not only is this an important time for us, it also marks the fact that we have known each other for 55 years – quite a long period of time considering we have known each other since we were 5 years old. But one of the reasons that I am feeling a little bit anxious is that I’m fighting feeling a little guilty about not writing for the next 2 weeks.
First of all, I am in the rhythm of creating posts for you to read 5 nights a week and, kind of a little bit like exercise, I don’t want to stop my discipline of writing each evening. On the other hand, we will be a number of time zones away and in all honesty, I would like a little bit of a break – time to chill out and just spend time in seclusion with Janet. But there is another reason that I am a little hesitant. I don’t want each of you to get out of the habit of reading – maybe I am a little concerned that once you stop, you won’t want to start up again.
And, to be honest, I spent nearly a decade in seminary studying all sorts of interesting things that I have a real heart to teach and share with all of you. If you have been reading for any length of time, you know the drill by now. You have come to expect a story, Bible verse, encouragement and a prayer each day. I receive notes from many of you who provide your own words of encouragement about what a daily devotional means to you and I am privileged to be able to be a part of your daily time with God. But for the next several weeks I may, or may not, write when I have the time and the inclination through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Please understand my need for a short time of refreshment.
The verse tonight is one of the oldest blessings in the Scripture. It is from the book of Numbers and is commonly used in church services to announce the end of the service for the week, until the congregation comes together again. Normally, we have come to know it as a benediction, from Numbers 6:24-26, “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” My encouragement this evening is that the LORD is looking after you and will keep you safely in the palm of His hand. My prayer is that you will maintain a time of daily worship and devotions until we come together again sometime around Labor Day. Please don’t hesitate to write me and let me know what prayers and Janet and I can offer on your behalf until we return. In the meantime, have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…