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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"What's Next?"

July 13, 2011

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But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ... Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43:1-3a; 5-7

The other day a pastor gave me hail. You know the icy stuff that falls from the sky.

Well, actually, he didn't give me hail; he sent me a picture of hail. This particular hail was about the size of a softball. It's the kind of hail you would be wise to avoid. But this hail was notable for more than its size. This hail had nasty looking icy spikes growing out of it. For all the world it looked like the end of a medieval mace.

As part of his e-mail, the good reverend asked, "What's next?"

It was a good question.

In the Pacific, earthquakes and related tsunami warnings have become regular occurrences. Industrial Japan has seen its economy knocked about by an earthquake and a close call with a few nuclear reactors.

In Europe airlines are sending their planes by different routes because of volcanic ash.

What's next?

Just about everywhere I've gone this spring and summer, people have been asking the question, "What's next?"

In some places, Iowa corn, which is often shoulder high by the Fourth of July, is now on its third replanting. There are rivers flooding which normally would be dry, and places which have always been green through the summer have been burnt to a crisp.

Half of Joplin, Missouri, is missing; Minot, North Dakota, is under water, and St. Louis has set a record for tornado warnings.

What's next? I don't know.

I do know the Lord is still there. I know He who gave His Son as the ransom price for our soul's salvation is still there. He's still watching out for us. He's still by our side.

What's next? I don't know ... but Isaiah had an inkling. This is what the prophet wrote in the 43rd chapter:

But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ... Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.

What's next -- possibly troubles but most certainly there will always be the presence and comfort of our caring God of grace.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we pray that You will bring seasonable weather upon the nations of the world. Be with those who make their living by the soil and upon the sea. Grant them a suitable harvest reflective of their hands' labor. Lord, we don't know what is going to come, but we pray we may recognize Your presence, care and support in whatever may happen. This we pray in our Savior's Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Amos 1-3    Acts 15:22-41

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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