Devotional

Can’t Quarantine the Gospel: “Castaway”

Day 24 of our series by Rick Velez. Rick helps us see how God is still working even in the moments where we can feel as if we are stranded on a deserted Island. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time(s). Don’t rush through this devotional.You can see more devotionals here


Castaway

Rick Velez

Sending out an S.O.S

After watching the movie Castaway, I can relate to Tom Hanks’ character of being stranded on an island. Like him, I feel castaway in my own home – isolated without physical contact with the outside world; wanting to send out an SOS. SOS is recognized as a distress signal. In popular usage, SOS became associated with such phrases as “Save Our Ship” or “Send Out Succour (help or assistance)” or “Save our Souls.”

In the midst of this pandemic, everyone is sending out an SOS; the whole world is in crisis. Fear of the virus, fear of the economy, loss of jobs, running out of money to pay bills and buy food. This unprecedented crisis has no simple remedy to rectify it. Does God see what is going on? Does He care? Do we matter to God? Why don’t we see him stepping in to save us? Before we cave in under the weight of our fears, let’s look at a time in the bible that was also grim.

Read Isaiah 17-18

In Isaiah 18: 1-5, it appears that the whole world is set to battle God’s people. Yet, what is the response of the Almighty One? “I will take My rest, and I will look from My dwelling place” (v.4.). The people must have been thinking, “What?!” How would you feel if God decided to take a break from the current situation we are in? To the people at that time, His stillness may appear to have been an acceptance of the conspiracy against them. But it wasn’t. God’s response was His reminder that He acts in His timing—at just the right time according to His will.

God Has a Purpose

Think of Jesus waiting 4 days while Lazarus lay in the tomb (John 11:39). Was he unaware? Did He not care? Of course He cared! He was waiting for the right time to act and to teach the lessons He wanted to teach. The Bible records God’s “delays,” many of which seem at the time to be baffling from our human perspective. Yet every delay flows from the depths of His wisdom and love. Delay, if we accept it, can produce the quieter virtues: humility, patience, endurance, and persistence – qualities that are often the last to be learned and to be developed within us.

Q: Which of the above virtues is God helping you grow in right now? (Humility, Patience, Endurance, Persistence)

Are you in distress? Does God seem distant and detached? Do you feel castaway, abandoned by God or unworthy of His favor? In the movie, Tom Hanks’ character had a volleyball that he named “Wilson,” to keep him company and get him through the hardship. Wilson, a mere ball, became his key to survival. How much greater is God than that? He wants to do immeasurably more than we can ever imagine. We can put our trust in “things,” but they could never save us. There comes a time when we all have to let go of our “Wilson” and take a risk, stepping out on faith.

Q: What is your “Wilson” right now? – Where are you getting comfort from where it may be time to let go?

God is not indifferent to your plight, nor is He unmoved by your pleas. He is waiting while His purpose is achieved. Then, at the right moment, He will intercede. God is never in a hurry, but is always on time.

Someone once said this: “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”

Q: Where are you looking? Are you focusing on the world and its dangers? Are you looking at yourself, hoping to find your own answers? Or are you looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith? (Heb.12:1-2)

Trust Jesus to hold it together when your world is falling apart. You can send Him your SOS; He will answer the distress call. God is worth waiting for! His time is always best.

Put it into practice:

  • Reach out to someone if you are feeling a lot to pray with them. Just text someone and say “can you pray with me at xyz time?” Even though we are on an island we have many neighbors on Islands as well and they all have phones! Understand it may not feel like the right time to be vulnerable, but it is.
  • Reflect on a time where you felt hopeless and think about how God moved in that situation. If you enjoy journaling, journal about it.
  • Decide on one thing you are holding onto that God is encouraging you to let go of and hold onto Him.

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