Daily Encouragement - May 20

Psalm 46 Common English Bible


God is our refuge and strength,

    a help always near in times of great trouble.

That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart,

    when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea,

    when its waters roar and rage,

    when the mountains shake because of its surging waves. Selah

There is a river whose streams gladden God’s city,

    the holiest dwelling of the Most High.

God is in that city. It will never crumble.

    God will help it when morning dawns.

Nations roar; kingdoms crumble.

    God utters his voice; the earth melts.

The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!

    The God of Jacob is our place of safety. Selah

Come, see the Lord’s deeds,

    what devastation he has imposed on the earth—

    bringing wars to an end in every corner of the world,

    breaking the bow and shattering the spear,

        burning chariots with fire.

“That’s enough! Now know that I am God!

    I am exalted among all nations; I am exalted throughout the world!”

The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!

    The God of Jacob is our place of safety. Selah


I told Jen this morning (Tuesday) that I am tired of being on everyone's prayer lists over the past 6 months. She looked at me as if to say ‘what did you just say’…I said ‘honey, I didn’t mean it like that’. I thought after the bout with pneumonia that took me from Thanksgiving to Christmas, certainly everything was going to clear up and we would finally have a little smooth sailing. I know…I should know better. But after an auto accident that left me turned upside down and strapped in a seatbelt for about 20 minutes, you start thinking about things a little differently I guess. Like…what if I had forgotten my seatbelt. Or..what if my car would have gone two feet this way or two feet that way. As I write these words I think of many friends over the course of my life who had similar experiences but don’t have the opportunity to reflect. I’m sure many of you have similar painful memories. I lament that with you. I lost a close friend 30 years ago and it still makes my heart ache. Monday morning, as my car was turning over into a ditch on Greenville Blvd., I had this kinda strange moment of a calm in a storm. It was raining for certain. The wind was blowing. The road had water puddles on both sides of the road. The car in my right lane, who had been there for a little too long signaled and started moving into my lane. I was faced with very few choices in these conditions. I slowed, moved right and tried not to slam the brakes.  I remembered hearing at one point in life - if you find yourself crashing-loosen up your body-don’t tighten. That’s what I did. I’m thankful for that. As I saw the grass and rock coming toward my windshield, I knew that an impact was imminent. And as I was falling down the embankment into this ditch, just before or just after - sorry - a bit foggy still…I felt God holding on to me - I didn’t hear, but I felt God’s presence and felt the words move into me -‘Be still and know that I am God’. Friends, I don’t know how or why, but I felt peace during the whole thing. My adrenaline certainly rose Monday throughout the day, but I had a calmness and God’s presence that carried me through this storm. Have you felt God’s presence carrying you through any recent storms? How have you sought God?  God of grace and God of mercy…thank You for all that you are and all that You do. Thank you for the times when you help transform our fear into peacefulness and our anger into grace. Be with those who don’t feel your presence who are friends of the readers of this prayer. May they find that you are a loving God - who seeks us out in life’s storms. Amen. Pastor Michael Williams

Centenary United Methodist Church

309 New Street, New Bern, NC, 28560 

P.O. Box 1388, New Bern, NC 28563

Phone: 252.637.4181

Fax: 252.637.5602

Email: centenaryumc@centenarychurch.com

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