Hi folks! Since my computer apparently tossed the devotion I was working on into the farthest reaches of cyberspace, I’ll be reposting a devotion I wrote in late 2017. Enjoy, and happy Father’s Day to all the dads and grandpas out there!

“Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
–Psalms 30:5 (NIV)
If you’re like me, you enjoy a classic bumper sticker now and then. There are a few that really stand out. One of my favorites reads, “I’m not scared of Hell. I live in Phoenix.”
My interest in Phoenix temperatures was peaked by this sticker, so I looked on the Internet to find out when the hottest day on record occurred in this city. The National Weather Service thermometer at Sky Harbor Airport registered 122 degrees on Wednesday June 26, 1990.
If you’ve never experienced Phoenix heat, it can really be sweltering, and quite difficult to endure. Perhaps this doesn’t seem relevant to your situation now, but please bear with me. I’d like to share a little story that contains some truth I have learned from experience in the Phoenix heat. It has affected my life in a positive way, and hopefully it will do the same for you.
I was coming home on the bus one summer afternoon, and I had to make a transfer between buses. I was hot and tired because I had just left work, and I wasn’t looking forward to my trip. I knew I would be enduring record-breaking heat that day.
The first leg of the journey was tolerable because I was on the bus, but soon the dreaded moment came when I had to wait for the next bus. Of course, the bus stop was out in the blazing sun. I wondered how long I’d have to wait in the heat before my next bus arrive. It was impossible to find any shade, so I had to sit there for what seemed like forever. Soon I started feeling the effects of the scorching heat. The wait was grueling, and I was stranded, getting sicker by the moment.
While I have blocked out the rest of this day from my mind, I can only tell you how terrible the heat felt. I can’t describe how good it felt to get back on the bus, where it was cooler. I don’t think I’ll ever take air conditioning for granted again.
This experience has caused me to think more about my life. While some of us may not have to contend with summer in Phoenix, we all face life’s heat in one form or another. But just like the physical heat I faced that afternoon, I recognize that life’s heat is not always easy to take, to say the least.
If you find that the pain of life is unbearable, please allow me to help you carry the load. Since I have been through agonizing pain and grief myself, I would like to share what I’ve found out with you.
The best way to cope with searing heat, whether you’re traveling through Phoenix or through life, is to find a source of refreshment. That may sound obvious, but we sometimes ignore the true refreshment that God offers. In order for His refreshment to be of any value or help in our lives, we need to take advantage of it by leaning on Him when times are tough.
Many of us who know about God’s love intelectually, do not apply it to what they are going through. We see God as the source of our troubles, and therefore we hold Him at arm’s length instead of approaching Him. But if you’re asking the same questions I have asked, remember how much God loves you, and how much you matter to Him.
You might be wondering why an all-powerful and loving God does not prevent the unbearable heat you may be going through. The Bible states that while suffering was never God’s plan for us, man disobeyed and rejected God’s perfect will.
Man broke God’s heart in the garden of Eden, and I believe that God weeps at what we’ve all been going through ever since. He wanted people to love and worship Him voluntarily, because He loved us first.
The idea of forcing His love on mankind was not an option. As someone once told me, forced love is rape. God wants you to avail yourself of His refreshing love by making yourself at home in His presence.
I hasten to say that this is quite different from understanding God’s ways. I will be the first to admit that some things in life are just plain perplexing. I’ve wrestled with this apparent paradox for a long time, but I was then struck by my mortality in a new way.
Having a finite mind, I wondered how I could expect to comprehend all the majesty, vastness, grace and power that our infinite God possesses. After all, the Bible tells us that we see through a glass darkly, so it should be no surprise that God’s ways are higher than ours, according to the same book.
All of us have made ourselves strangers to God’s workings, and run from him instead of running to the home which He offers us. When you are getting used to a new home, the best way to become comfortable is by familiarization, and it is the same with God’s Word and with prayer. The shade of His love oozzes from the Bible’s pages.
So if you feel like you are trapped by the heat of life and you don’t know which way to turn, run to the one who holds the key to true and lasting refreshment.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.