Devotion for February 2, 2023

“Confront Your Shadow on Groundhog’s Day; Have you retreated from opportunity because of fear or uncertainty? Fear not; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

Sunlight glistens on his whiskers as Mr. Groundhog cautiously pokes his head above his earthy burrow. He eases to his haunches, twitches his fuzzy ears and listens for signs of danger.

Then … horrors! He sees this big, black, spooky thing looming in front of him. Whoosh! He’s gone. His shadow has sent him fleeing back to the safety of his den. This means, according to legend, winter will last another six weeks. I enjoy Groundhog Day, mostly because most others don’t. I do like sunny days — especially in February. How silly to let a shadow spoil it. But, I wonder, how many times have I retreated from opportunity because I was frightened by a shadow called “uncertainty” or “inadequacy”? Perhaps my fear is as unfounded as the groundhog.

I have an idea! This Groundhog Day, despite the scary shadows in front of me, I’m going to take one small step toward something I want to accomplish. I’m going to accept that invitation to speak, even though I’m nervous.

How about you? Are you thinking about accepting a new job, going back to school or trying to break an old habit? Then why don’t you make that phone call or write a letter that could change your life. After all, even the timid groundhog eventually raises his head, takes a whiff of clover and scurries from his hole.

As the movie Groundhog Day portrayed, you have to keep living the past to get it right in the present to positively affect your future. Hogwash! Jesus got it right for you, and He has placed you in the Father’s hands where, as James 1 says, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created.”

Enjoy the fantasy of the legend, but praise Jesus for the reality! (HGHD)


Lord, I thank You for Your gift to us, the gift of salvation for all. I thank You for being my strength and shield, without which I could do nothing. I also thank You for all You have given me, body and soul, for each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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