Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Wednesday, October 15

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17

We were painting the eave of the church that day, and the scaffolding was far too high. I had volunteered, and everybody knew I had volunteered, so I had to quell my fears, grab a brush and a can of paint and make my way up the ladder and onto the platform. It felt solid enough, but I knew that if I lost my balance it would be a long way down.

I placed the paint can by my feet, and, trying to avoid looking at the ground below, wet my brush with paint and took the first few strokes. I realized that although I was fairly stable, I needed some way to help keep me balanced. I reached out my left hand and lightly touched the eave.

Almost immediately I felt safe. At first the sensation didn't make much sense. The eave certainly wouldn’t hold me if I fell, and the finger or two that touched it couldn't have stopped a fall. But the touch was reassuring. It let me know where I was. My right hand moved back and forth with the brush, but my left hand lightly stayed in one place.

That touch, I realized, is like prayer. We go through our lives finding there are scaffolds to climb, eaves to paint, and situations in which we need to face our fears. In those times, if we reach out and pray we will find our bearings. It is prayer that gives us a perspective, prayer that gives a sense of balance, and prayer that promises safety. 

Had I fallen that day the light touch of my left hand on that eave would not have saved me. But it was that touch that gave me assurance that I would not fall. So it is with prayer. It allows us to navigate difficult situations. All we need to do is to reach out.

Today, Wonderful Counselor, we reach out to you in prayer, asking for balance, assurance, and encouragement as we seek to both build and mend your realm. Thank you for the gift of prayer that steadies our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.