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Because he loves me

About this post: We want to stay connected! This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals for this season. Read them, share them, and pray that they bring God's peace and love to our communities. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text ZPCDevo to 317.768.0600. We welcome your comments and questions each day. 

About the author: Pamela and her husband, David, have been grateful to be a part of ZPC's congregation for approximately 15 years. Both love being a part of the Great Banquet community and being involved in a variety of ways musically. Pamela is also involved with Revive and Restore women's ministries. 

Today's Scripture: Psalm 91

I wrote this devotional two days before beginning our couch concerts (weekly live concerts on Facebook where family and friends can gather virtually). God has been drawing us closer to him during this time and we have been bathing our concerts in prayer—that they would be glorifying to God and that they would bring his hope, encouragement, peace, and joy to the attendees as we gather and have fun together. While I still struggle occasionally, I can honestly say that the below reflects one of my most difficult days during this time. I felt that someone needed to hear this today.

As I sit in tears at my keyboard, I can only shake my head and pray and simply say, “God, I need you. I just need you.” I am a whirl of emotions. I am helpless to the next slam of fear and grief. I don’t understand how I’m feeling…or how one moment I can be so strong, so peace-filled, so full of joy…and the next moment reduced to tears and despair. I can’t explain it. I just know where to run when it happens.

The sun is out today. Walking in blessed sunshine, waving at neighbors from afar, seeing a cat lazing in a window, basking in the rays, fill me with such joy. Then returning home, a young lady sat on our steps in our foyer surfing on her phone. There’s no way to climb the steps without brushing by her. Not six feet, let alone one. Just like that, the joy and feeling of freedom was gone. Unbidden, concern, stress, and fear invaded again.

When God really wants to emphasize something to me, he does it three times. So glad for a God who understands that sometimes saying something once doesn’t cut it. In the last few days, He has given me Psalm 91 three different times. I can’t help but feel that is what I am to share with you.

It talks of pestilence and plagues, of darkness and flying arrows, of terror and disaster. To be honest, I was afraid of this scripture. I can’t reassure and say we won’t be touched by the terrible, difficult things around us. I love God, I believe in him and his healing, in his saving abilities. But being a child of God does not mean we will be saved from all things. It does mean he will be there beside us and will walk us through whatever confronts us.

I realized with Psalm 91 that I have to change my focus. I don’t need to be looking at the plague, the terror, the darkness. I need to center my focus on our one true God. Psalm 91 shows that He is our refuge, our shield, our rescuer, our protector, our satisfier, our savior. He has us. He has this. None of this took him by surprise and he has never lost control. He is our Savior and Lord and his eyes are upon us.

When you are overcome, bask in this truth in Psalm 91:14-16: "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."

God loves you deeply, desperately. You are not alone.


Psalm 91 is rich with many encouraging phrases. Before reading it again, ask God to touch your heart with a certain verse, one that he means specifically for you. As you read Psalm 91, pay attention to what verse really sticks out to you, which one shines. Take that verse and write it down. Write it on a post-it note, color it, paint it if you want, then place it in one or many places in your home where you can be reminded of God’s great, great love just for you.


Holy Father,
These times are scary. So much unknown, so many what ifs. Thank You that You are our God who cares, that You are involved in every tiny detail of our life, and that we are not alone. You did not leave us to fend for ourselves. You are still on the throne. In all of this uncertainty, we can run to You. We don’t have to have the answers. We just need to run to You. Forgive us that our trust is shallow and that our struggle is deep. Help us to feel Your presence, comfort and guidance in many amazing ways.

Tuesday, Dec 12 | The unexpected

Editor's Note

About the author: 
Pamela and her husband David have been at ZPC for a number of years. They both are involved in ZPC's music ministry as well as the Great Banquet community.

About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of waiting, mystery, redemption, and incarnation. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center. We welcome your comments and questions each day.

Mystery | 1 Corinthians 2:8-10

No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
  what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

Oh, what the Jews and the rulers missed when they missed Jesus. How did it all happen? Did they not witness enough miracles? Did they not see the joy-filled faces of those who spent time with him, who were forgiven by him, who were healed by him? How did they not know or care that he was for whom they had been waiting? He fulfilled the prophecies. He was the One. And they missed him.  

In this amazing mystery of God’s love, timing, and ways, there were so many things they did not understand. They were not expecting a baby, or a manger, or for Jesus to be revealed to both shepherds and kings. They waited and looked for a Messiah to arrive in a specific way and to act in a certain manner: an earthly king who would deliver them from their Roman oppressors, who would restore Israel, a leader who fit their mold. They could not recognize this man who was not presenting himself as a ruler or a powerful conqueror. He was more interested in eternal saving than in earthly supremacy. And that just didn’t fit.

How about us? What does this time of expectancy look like in our little world? For many of us, we are white-knuckling it until Christmas Day. Holding on for dear life, flying from thing to thing, living in a chaos-filled frenzy, and wondering how it is all going to get done. The preparations, the parties, the outings, the events, there is much to fill our time and yet we can end up feeling empty.

In the midst of all that is grappling for our attention, though, there is a baby who waits. He waits to be remembered. He waits to be asked into our day. He waits for us to acknowledge him as King and Lord over our lives, over this season. The best way to face the frenzy of the season is for us to invite Jesus in, to spend time with him, to become grounded in him before facing the day. We can ask him how to simplify and how to make ourselves and our lives better reflect him during this time.

Jesus is coming. In the midst of all that is beautiful and crazy about this season, don’t miss him.


Make a list of all that you still hope to do this Advent season. Sending Christmas cards, making cookies, going to the office Christmas party, attending a Christmas concert may all top the list. Make the list as complete as possible. Then, knowing that God doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed or exhausted with all of our desires and commitments, pray over the list and ask God what he would like it to look like. When we invite him in and listen to what he says, we may find things look differently than what we first thought. Post the list on your fridge with the question, “God, what do you want?” at the top. Then see how God adjusts things to make your life more reflective of him.


Heavenly Father, we don’t always understand your ways. And it can be hard to know how to keep this season well. Please reveal to us by your Spirit all that you want to show us during this time of waiting. Help our lives to reflect you to others. Use us to bring your hope, light and salvation to the world. Guide our thoughts and our actions so that, in the midst of this Advent season, we do not miss Jesus.

In Jesus’ name we pray,


Posted by Pamela Ackerman with