Each day, Ranch Chaplain, Rev. Rick Jones, emails a devotion to all Ranch employees. His messages are thought provoking, inspiring and comforting—and remind us to remain focused on our kids and on Christ.
His devotion from June 12th really spoke to me. It made me think not only of our kids, but of you, our devoted donors. You give of your time and treasure to pray for our kids and financially support our ministry, while often you have battles of your own. You may be dealing with medical issues or the pain of watching a loved one struggle—none of us have a life free from worry.
I wanted to share this with you today both to remind you you’re not alone in your struggle, and to encourage you to reach out to a friend or neighbor in need—just as you support the kids at the Ranch.
Turning Calls of Distress to Shouts of Joy
By Chaplain Rick Jones, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
1 "Sing for joy to God our strength;
shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
2 Begin the music, strike the timbrel,
play the melodious harp and lyre.
3 Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon,
and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;
4 this is a decree for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 When God went out against Egypt,
he established it as a statute for Joseph.
I heard an unknown voice say:
6 'I removed the burden from their shoulders;
their hands were set free from the basket.
7 In your distress you called and I rescued you,
I answered you out of a thundercloud;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.'
“Life does not always deal us the best hand. Sometimes we get stuck with bad cards. A run of bad luck at a card game can be difficult to overcome. It is at these hard times in life that we live out verse 7 of the psalm above. In our distress we must call upon God for rescue. He says he has rescued his people. He answers their calls.
“God has answered every call of distress in a final way by sending his Son to die for the consequences of our broken world. In Christ we are forgiven and given a place in his eternal kingdom. But that does not always change the value of the cards sitting in our hand right here and now. So how does God answer our distress in this life when we just want to cry out, ‘MISDEAL?’
“God answers our calls through his people. God equips and empowers us to care for one another. God gives us compassion and concern to reach out to the people around us in their times of struggle. It is easy to see how we are doing this for our clients. We provide them with therapy, medication, education, food, shelter, etc. etc. etc. But the chance for a re-deal goes beyond the clients of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. It is for all the people in our lives.
“You can reach out to your co-workers, your family, your friends, and neighbors when they are in need. Deal them a better hand with a listening ear, a helping hand, or a sympathetic voice. A small gesture could change the value of the cards in their hand. Through your actions God can turn their calls of distress to shouts of joy. You can be the answer to their prayers, and likewise, they could be the answer to yours.”
Dear Father in Heaven, empower me to help those in need. Lead me to use my gifts and talents to bless people with your gracious provision. Let me be attentive to the needs of those around me and bear with them in their times of need. Help me to walk in your ways and be a source of your joy for everyone I see all the days of my life. Amen.
Thank you for being an important part of the Ranch family. May God bless you and keep you.
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