Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Tuesday, October 14

When I thought, “My foot is slipping,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
—Psalm 94: 18-19

The pews in our church have been there for nearly a century. Like most people, I have a certain pew I like to sit in during worship. For me it is the third pew on the right, and I generally sit on the end. There is something comforting about that pew. I could, of course, sit farther back, or even on the other side of the church. But I prefer to find that certain spot on that certain pew Sunday after Sunday. 

I've wondered who else has sat in that pew. Was it accidental? Or had they also chosen that particular pew? I know that he or she heard the same scriptures, looked at the same stained glass windows with their four messages—Love, Hope, Faith, and Truth—just beneath a sheaf of wheat and a communion cup.

And I know that in their lives there must have been times they were overwhelmed with sorrow, perplexed by circumstance, and not just entirely sure they would make it. And yet there they were, in church. In the third pew on the right. There they were, finding a hymnal in the hymnal rack, gathering themselves for a new beginning.

Like me, they know the times God held them up when their foot was slipping. “I almost fell that time,” they might have said, “but I didn't. Surely it is God who held me up.” 

Like me, when the cares of their heart were many, they came to find consolation. Consolation, of course, doesn't change a tough situation. Consolation can't turn the clock back. But it is the gift of consolation that encourages us to take the next step. Consolation is born of hope. 

Over the years the third pew on the right, the seat right beside the aisle, has been a place to count my blessings, a place to remember how God has held me up. We all need a place to count our blessings, where the cares of our heart make way for a cheerful soul thanks to the consolations of a loving God.

Loving God, how good it is that when we slip you hold us up, that when the cares of our heart are many, your consolations cheer our soul. In such a time, we find the story of our lives, and the story of your church. For this we give you great and glad thanks. Amen.