Africa Devotions, the Eternal versus the Long View

That sound funny, doesn’t it—aren’t “long-term” and “eternal” similar? No. When we say “long-term,” we generally mean the next few months, a five-year plan, a decade. We like to ask questions like this: “So what do see yourself doing in four years?”

But we only have two times assured to us. One is eternity. The other is now. We have no idea if tomorrow brings success or catastrophe. We have no control. When we truly recognize this, we realize we have to follow God step by step. We have to loosely hold any plans we make. When we hold our futures with clenched fists, we fall into one of two traps: worry or a false sense of control.

Neither of those is trust.


I don't know how clearly you can read this poster--which I found in the hallway at a girls' rehabilitation school in Kenya--but it sure helps me to realize that a lot of my "first world" problems aren't really problems at all.

I don’t know how clearly you can read this poster–which I found in the hallway at a girls’ rehabilitation school in Kenya–but it sure helps me to gain perspective on many of my “problems.”

Questions for thought/discussion:

  1. Katie’s plans for college fell apart, but what was far harder was when she and her boyfriend broke off their relationship. How do we trust God for things so close to our hearts? Read her journal on pages 227-230 and reflect.
  2. How does being Spirit-led fit into this?
  3. Jesus said this in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Then read pages XX and XXI in the introduction to Katie’s book. How does Katie’s story shed light on this verse?
  4. What happens when we ask for “more than we can handle” in our everyday lives? (See page 135). Is this a prayer of release? What happens when we pray like this for our everyday, “ordinary” lives?


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