Betrayed by a Friend



It’s not an enemy that is insulting me— I could handle that. It’s not someone who hates me who is exalted over me— I could hide from them. No. It’s you, my equal, my close companion, my good friend! ~Psalm 55:12-13 (CEB)

There is nothing worse in the world than to be betrayed by a friend. A friend, a close friend is someone you trust, someone you expect to be there for you in good times and bad. No one can hurt you more than a dear friend. When you have been betrayed by a friend the hurt goes so deep that you feel like you could never trust anyone ever again. You feel so alone with your feelings of hurt and betrayal. No one could ever know what you are going through.

But you are not alone. Jesus was sold out by a kiss. His betrayal led him to the cross. Peter, one of his closest friends, denied him not just once but three times. All the disciples fled in fear. Jesus was left alone. At the moment he needed a friend the most he found himself without even the dearest friends. They were all gone.

I don’t think I have ever been in a place where I have felt such complete abandonment. I have felt the sting of losing a friend that I thought I could trust but once the pain subsided some I realize that I was not as alone as I thought. But for Jesus, there was no one. The hardest thing for me about this story of betrayal and abandonment is that Jesus foreknew what was to come. He did not walk into this situation blindly. He chose to die on the cross to save me even when those dearest to him had left him to fend for himself. If I had been in his shoes I imagine I would have said well if even my closest friends can’t appreciate what I am about to do for the world then why bother! But thankfully I am not the Messiah.

It brings great comfort to me when I realize that there is nothing in the world that Jesus hasn’t been through. If I need an understanding ear he is the best choice. Jesus will never abandon me. Romans 8: 38-39 says, “I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.” There is NOTHING that can separate me from the love of God. Even though I might find myself alone, Jesus will always be with me. The Bible tells me so.

I am thankful that I have a friend in You Jesus. There is nothing that I go through that You have not also been through as well. I know I can trust You and turn to You for guidance in all I do this day. Amen

Light in the Darkness


O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! ~Psalm 118:1

For many people of faith, one of the first things we want to do in uncertain times is to gather together to pray. As orders to shelter at home and for the doors of the church building to close for the health safety of its members we are left wondering where God is in all of this. With each passing day, things feel more uncertain, more and more fearful, causing tensions to rise. In our panic, we begin trying to seek out things that we can control in a time that everything feels so out of our control. One thing I keep hearing is that none of us have ever seen anything like this in our lifetime. We have to look back into history to the Spanish flu in the 1920s and Choera of the 1800s to find anything of comparison.

I read a post this morning where a question was asked of a Rabbi during a natural disaster to explain such a tragic act of God. The rabbi answered that the disaster was an act of nature. The act of God happened when people stepped us to help each other.

Where is God in all of this? What is the Good News in the midst of all our uncertainties? Where is the Light of God in the Midst of our Darkness?

The answer comes to us through the words of Psalm 118. “Hosanna! Save us! Blessed is the one that comes in the name of the Lord!” This is a reminder that God has acted in the past, has saved us from ourselves in the past, and God will save us again!

Even in our distance from each other, we can still come together as a community united in prayer. We can find comfort, peace and even moments of joy.

In its ancient context, Psalm 118 was most likely an entrance liturgy to the Temple, used at the festival of the Passover. It proclaimed God’s deliverance from Egypt and, later on, from the Exile.

Sine New Testament times, Psalm 118 evokes for Christians the story of Easter.

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
What can mortals do to me?” (118:5-6).

New Testament writers used Psalm 118 “as a means of understanding and articulating the significance of Jesus.” (See Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7.) Christians have long read this Psalm with Jesus in mind.

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

Today, the words of Psalm 118 gives us hope as people of faith to celebrate God’s faithfulness. God was with us in the beginning. God is with us now. God will be with us always. The words in this Psalm remind us that God’s love is steadfast and endures forever. They remind us that God gave us God’s Light to shine in and through the darkness and that God’s light will never go away! The very words of Psalm 118 give us hope and stir our hearts and our souls to celebrate! They unify us! They remind us that we are God’s children! And remember being God’s children means that we are never alone.

Even in our anxiety and fear, we can celebrate that our God is still working.

We celebrate the hope, the security, the trust that we have as people of faith because we know that in the midst of our darkness, we find the Light of God. Because the Light of God never goes away.

If you listen to the news, they tell us to brace for a rough week ahead. I want to remind you that the churches may stand empty today, they may stand empty on Easter morning, but remember so is Christ’s tomb. This epidemic will not cancel Easter. Easter has already happened.

So we still celebrate because our God’s saving grace is steadfast and endures forever. The Light of God shines in this darkness, giving us strength and courage for the journey ahead. The Light of God is for all of God’s children, bringing peace, bringing hope, bringing grace. The Light of God fills us, renews us, lifts us up, and connects as one. Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Our God has answered our pleas and has given us salvation!

Dear God, even in these days, help us to remember your promises. Help us be unified in our prayers, even when COVID-19 seems to keep us separated. Fill our homes with your Holy Spirit in such a way that we know you are near. Restore us to health, God, restore us to life and give us hope. Amen.

Stay the Course


Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. ~Galatians 6:9 (CEB)

No matter what is going on in our lives we must never give up. In the scripture on God’s Armor (Eph 6:10-18) it ends the section with “no matter what, persevere.” This is easy to throw around but how do you even begin to persevere in a world that we have never seen before? How do we persevere when each day seems to be darker than the last?

I persevere by my diligence in prayer, resolving to stay the course, unwavering faith, and determination to stand firmly on God’s Words and His promises for me.

Even so, it gets frustrating how slowly things seem to be moving sometimes. Every time I turn on the news, I feel like our “safer at home orders” get extended even further out. I no longer know what to say to my son when he asks me how much longer do you think COVID-19 will disrupt our lives? My heart breaks for him as this should be one of his golden times as a senior in High School. There should be celebrations, rewards for a good job done, a senior trip to Disney, a musical production with his high school theater group… and who knows yet about graduation ceremonies? Instead, he meets with his friends online as they try to distract each other between their lessons at home.

It is easy to think that God isn’t dealing with the situation, but I have to remember that God is doing some of his greatest work even if I can’t see what He is doing. This pandemic did not catch him off guard. Also, I need to keep in mind if the problem didn’t occur overnight it also will take time to correctly resolve it. There may be more going on than the “virus” we see.

No matter what is going on in our lives the victory is in not giving up. I think that is a good definition of perseverance. Not giving up. When the road ahead is full of bumps and I feel like I am acting out one of my son’s ninja shows he watched when he was little as I try to dodge trouble, I need to keep assured that the good that I am trying to do is noticed by God and time will bring fruition to my diligence.

Sometimes God, I get tired of doing the right thing. Give me courage to stay the course give me strength to do your will. Most especially God, help me to remember that as I child of God, I do not walk this journey alone. Amen.


I can’t bear this on my own…


I can’t bear these people on my own. They’re too heavy for me. ~Numbers 11:14

Sometimes life is just more than I can handle. Some days it is all I can do to manage what I need to do for that day. In reading Numbers chapter 11 we read where Moses is feeling overwhelmed with leading the Israelites. They aren’t happy with the fact that God has been providing them just manna to eat. Now they are complaining that they want meat to eat too. Moses cries out to God in verse 13, “Where am I to get meat for all these people? They are crying before me and saying, ‘Give us meat, so we can eat’.”

The first thing Moses did when he realized he had come to the end of his rope in this situation was to admit, “I can’t bear these people on my own. They’re too heavy for me.” This allowed God to say, “I can!” The problem was bigger than Moses but once he allowed God into the situation it allowed God to go to work.

I often forget that God is waiting on the sidelines for me to call out to Him for my needs. God wants to work in my life but He isn’t going to come into the situation without my invitation. I first need to call out to God, “Help, this is more than me!” I need to realize Who can get the job done and then I need to let Him.

Dear God, help us this day to reach out to You when things feel more than we can bear. Come into the circumstances we are dealing with today and help us feel assured that You will make a way for us through this day and the days ahead. Amen.