John 11:25-27

Wednesday, March 29
Neal Armstrong

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come.”

I was walking to the train pondering thoughts for this devotion while listening to worship music when suddenly a song came on and I immediately found myself in conversation with Jesus. I was thanking him for bringing my parents through the sudden loss of their independence which occurred this time last year. A challenging time for everyone, involving anxiety, anger, exhaustion, sadness, and depression, an experience many of us have endured or will.

For months I was driving to and from St. Louis weekly, to tour facilities, visit mom in rehabilitation, or empty their house in preparation for sale. During those drives, I was alone and would experience every range of emotion, sometimes all within a span of minutes. I listened to a lot of Christian music along the way. When certain songs came on, I really felt the Lord’s presence and was filled with a sense of peace. These moments were a source of strength. As I thought more about that experience, I realized I find personal encounters with Jesus quite often through music. There are certain songs that bring me into a very personal authentic experience with him. I put these thoughts in an email to myself and within minutes of sending, as I was leaving the train to walk home, my favorite hymn and one of those songs, “How Great Thou Art,” came on. Chills ran through me as it affirmed my approach to this devotion.

My favorite verse, and the one I have told my family, that when the time comes, I want sung twice to close out my funeral service, is excerpted below. This stanza also touches on a key theme of today’s reading, believe in Jesus and live even though we die.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art.

When I hear these words, I encounter Christ in a personal manner filled with peace and comfort.

Lord, help us find close personal encounters with you that bring us peace and invigorate our faith. Amen.

1 Comment

  1. Hildegarde Schmidt says:

    Sent from my iPad


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