Holy Week Devotion | Portia Owens

Psalm 46: 1-2; 10-11

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Selah

It means to pause, reflect, stop, consider….meditate. My brother shared this word with me a few weeks ago and it’s made a huge impact on how I process life these days. He told me this term is a practice and that I should take time to Selah to strengthen my faith. I know we serve an intentional and very present God who loves and cares for His people. There must be something He wants his people to know/do right now. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Faith over Fear

1 and 2 Kings depict stories of a few kings who chose to see and live through God’s will, amidst the trouble around them. King Hezekiah focused on praising and serving God,(unlike many other leaders before him). He chose to look to God’s guidance in every way. Even when he fell ill, He would not believe God was not going to bless him. Hezekiah’s faith gave him a rich and purposeful life, this pleased God. As Christians, I believe we get to be that beacon of hope and light for those suffering around us. We also get to look to those closest to us for strength when we feel down. It is ok to have real feelings of fear about this crisis, but we can’t let those feelings drive us to doubt God’s power and movement. We get to exercise our baby faith and lean on our tribes for support when we need it. Don’t complain, pray. 

Look for Him. 

In this unbelievable yet real crisis, we are living in today, luckily we serve a God who is not troubled by this world’s issues. This is NOT uncharted territory for Him. He has been present since the beginning of time, leading His people to triumph and peace. In my experience, forcing myself to find one positive detail at a time has completely flipped my mindset about what I was happening around me. This practice gave me peace and clarity. It reminded me that God is still here, speaking and working. HE is holding me through this storm. I encourage you to strengthen your hope by looking for God’s work every day. 

Selah.

Portia Owens,
Memphis Teacher Residency
Graduate Development Director