This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Friday, November 8, 2019
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Bless the Lord, all you winds;
sing hymns and highly exalt him forever.
—Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
sing hymns and highly exalt him forever. (3 Dan 65&66)
I will sing a new song to you, O God,
and make music for you on a ten-stringed harp,
for you who provide safety to kings,
who free your servant David from the evil sword.
Rescue me and deliver me
from the grasp of the foreigners’ children,
whose mouths utter nonsense
and whose right hand
is the right hand of perjury.
May he bless our sons, like seedlings well tended from their youth,
our daughters, well-developed like columns of a palace.
May our storehouse be full, bursting with variety!
Our sheep fertile, lambing in the fields!
Our oxen huge!
No invasion, no exile;
no riot in the streets!
Blessed are the people who have it like this,
blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!
From Basil’s Letters, #5, to Nectarius on the death of his son.
Be perfectly assured of this, that though the reasons for what God ordains are incomprehensible to us, yet what is arranged for us by the one who is all-wise, and who loves us, is always to be accepted, no matter how painful it is to endure. He himself knows how he is appointing what is best for each, and why the terms of life that he fixes for us are unequal. There exists some reason, incomprehensible to humans, why some are taken away from us sooner, and some are left behind a longer time to bear the burdens of this painful life. So we ought always to adore his loving kindness, and not to complain. Let us remember those great and famous words of the great athlete Job—when he had seen his ten children gathered together at one table and crushed to death in an instant—“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.” (Job 1:21) As the Lord thought good, so it came to pass. Let us adopt those marvelous words. They who show similar good behavior shall receive a similar reward from the hands of the righteous Judge.
O God, I know you can do anything and everything. And that is my temptation, expecting you to do what I want, instead of what your Providence has arranged for me. For those times when I may have rebelled against your will and failed to trust in your goodness, let the confession of Job be mine, for even if I say nothing, you will hear what my mind and heart says. So “listen to me now, Lord, so I can speak—I will put the question to you, for you will teach me. I heard what was said about you, but now I have seen you, and so I humble myself and back off and regard myself as ashes and dust!” (Job 42:1-6) May I have similar humility on a day of calamity, to be matched only by my trust in you. Amen.