The Nature Of Hope: A 5-Day Devotional
DAY 4 OF 5
Have you ever picked up or touched a starfish?
The name, starfish, hints at magic and mystery. As if they have fizzled down from the heavens to plunge into the sea. When they wash up on shore, they are the darlings of beachcombing parents because starfish are beautiful, benign, and beguiling. Completely safe to pick up and examine.
But starfish are neither stars nor fish. The scientific community calls them sea stars. You can find starfish from icy polar regions to the steamy tropics in a kaleidoscope of colors. They can be teeny tiny or gigantic—like the sunflower sea star, which can be three feet across and crammed with sixteen to twenty-four arms.
The charming starfish—seen on any beach in the world, seemingly captive of the waves, harmless to humans—is not really all that weak and helpless. They are in fact, patient and persistent predators.
When the starfish encounters a tightly closed oyster, scallop, or mussel shell as he roams across the seabed, he wraps itself around the shell in a tight embrace. Slowly he exerts outward, suctioning pressure until the bivalve cannot resist. A tiny slit emerges as the shell opens, just a crack.
This is all our patient predator needs. He then extends his stomach outside his body and into the shell through the tiny opening. He digests the meat inside and slurps up its tasty meal. Then his stomach retreats back into the sea star. His persistence has prevailed.
Our starfish’s surprising tenacity gives us hope. His charming, small, decorative appearance hides his amazing ability to crack open tough cases. He reminds me of the little old ladies in church with their blue-tinged hair. These ladies seem frail and innocuous. But when she’s alone, the little old lady rises up in the full armor of God, like a ninja warrior in prayer. She won’t give up, she won’t shut up, and she doesn’t cease putting the pressure on until she sees victory.
This is how we crack tough cases: persistent prayer.
James 5:16 tells us, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
When Peter told Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Messiah,” Jesus said that upon that confession, this bedrock of truth, Jesus would build his church. And then he adds, “And the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:15-19). Meaning, our prayers are to reach into evil and dissolve it. And the gates cannot stand against it.
Persistent prayer may sound soft and squishy, but it’s like a sea star. In tough cases, it’s lethal.
About this Plan
If you feel stressed, disconnected from God, and disenchanted with life, these refreshing devotions will help you find solace for your scattered soul. Laurie Kehler offers you a trail guide to finding God in the heart of...
We would like to thank Laurie Ostby Kehler in conjunction with Harvest House Publishers for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/books/this-outside-life-9780736975797