The journey through life – we all take our own path. Walk our own road. Live our own, unique stories. The road may be marked by sorrow or joy, suffering or safety, anxiety or anticipation, melancholy or delight. It is a journey that changes with our own experiences, and ebbs and flows with the happenings of our lives.

Where are you on this journey?

As you read on in this devotion, I invite you to imagine that you are reading a letter written to you, from God. Imagine yourself in the favorite place where you might go to read such a letter — not an email, but an old-fashioned letter — and hear the words being spoken to you, amid wherever you find yourself on the journey.



My Dear Child:

I write you this letter

Out of a deep,



And holy

Love for you.


I hope that you will read it often –

Perhaps even commit parts of it

To memory

So that you can call upon my words

At times when you need them most
I hope as well that at least some of my words

Will be like daily breath

For you –

Pulsing through your heart and mind

Without any effort or conscious thought,

But instead

Filling you up,

Giving you peace,

Sustaining you

And encouraging you

In both the good times

And the bad times of your life.


There are many things that I want you

To know and believe

To trust and to rely upon –

Even if you cannot completely understand them.


First –

And last –

Holy bookends to all that I have to say to you –

You are my child –



Loved by me –

I have called you by name;

You are mine.

Nothing can separate you from me –

Not the good,

Nor the bad –

Not the joyous,

Nor the sorrowful –

Not conviction

Nor doubt —

Not life

Nor death.


You are mine –

Fashioned by me

Named by me

Loved by me

Claimed by me

Held by me –

Forever, and for all eternity –

You are my child.


Trust this –

Even when you cannot.

Trust this –

Even when it seems impossible to believe.

Trust this –

Simply because I have said it to you.

You are my child –

Trust that this word is true.


Because you are mine,

I exhort you,

Challenge you,

Urge you,

Press you,

And encourage you –

To not be afraid.


Do not be afraid, my child

As you journey through this life.


Do not be afraid of

What you do not know.


Do not be afraid

When you do not know what to do.


Do not be afraid

When you do not know what the future holds.


Do not be afraid

When the tasks are many, and the resources are few.


Do not be afraid

When things do not work out like you hope they will.


Do not be afraid

When there are obstacles on your path.


Do not be afraid

When you fail.


Do not be afraid

Because I will go with you wherever you go.


Do not be afraid

For I will be your shield.


Do not be afraid

For I will give you strength and courage.


Do not be afraid

For I will always hear your cries.


Do not be afraid

For I will deliver you from the hands of your enemies.


Wherever you are on the journey –

Do not be afraid

For I am your God.


But you also must know

That there will be obstacles

Along your path.


You will face difficult times.

You will face challenges


Brokenness –

Both within and without.

You will face things that you do not understand.

You will make mistakes.


This world is



And broken –

And you are too –

And because of that,

The way will not always be easy.

You will not always be able to see

Around the next bend.

Or to the top of the mountain.

You will not always be able to see

The goal for which you press on.

But I will be there.

I promise you –

I will be there.


Sometimes it will feel like

You are rowing against the current

Toward a shore that will never come.

Or like the wilderness

Stretches on toward an unreachable horizon.

Sometimes you may wonder if there is any fire to warm you

And lead you

Through the darkness.

Sometimes you will wonder if the sorrow of the night

Will ever break into joy of the morning.

But it will –

Joy will come in the morning –

And I will be there

To make it so.


In all of these times,

Know that I promise

You will be more than a conqueror.

Know that I promise

That whatever you suffer –

Suffering is not all there is to your story.

Know that I promise

That resurrection follows



Jesus is the

Resurrection –



Jesus is the Life –



Jesus is

The first born of the dead,

The new creation,

The one who is the way –

And has opened the door

Who is the truth

Who is the life –

For you,

Who has prepared a place

For you

Who has gone ahead of you

Who will come again to take you to himself,

And is with you still

In every moment

Of every day.


In all these things –

Wherever you are on the journey –

Whether the name of Jesus

Rises from your lips in confession

Or the questions of doubt

Rise from your heart in confusion –

Know that

I will never leave you

Nor will I ever forsake you.


I will be with you always –

Even to the end of the age.

And you will be with me,

In the place where there will be

No more


No more suffering,

No more pain,

No more death –



My peace,

I give to you,

Not as the world gives,

Do I give to you,

But as I alone can give –

Peace that is from me –

Who has born all your griefs

And carried all your sorrows –

Peace that comes from me alone –

Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Everlasting Father –

Prince of Peace –

For you.

Peace that passes all understanding –



Life-giving peace –

For you.


Breathe it in

Through the power of

My Spirit.

So as you make your way

On this wandering,





Road through life –

A road of suffering

A road of endurance

A road of character

A road of hope –


Lift your eyes up to the hills,

And see that your help

Comes from the Me

Who made heaven and earth.

Trust and believe

That as I have

Numbered the stars of the heavens,

So too have I

Numbered the hairs on your head.

I have clothed you

In garments of holiness and righteousness.

I, who knows when a sparrow falls,

Will bear you up on eagle’s wings.

I, who knit you together in your mother’s womb,

Will hold you forever

In the palm of my hand.


So, my child,

Take heart.

Take one day at a time.

Live in each moment

As a precious gift that I have given.

Love generously.

Risk boldly.

Fail courageously.

Cast all of your burdens upon me

Hope fiercely.


For I promise you –

Hope in me

Will not disappoint you,

For while you were yet a sinner

Christ died for you,

Making you an heir of the glory of God.


So, wherever you are on the journey,

You are

Covered in grace,

Held in hope,

Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit –


Press on toward the goal

For the prize of the heavenly call

In Christ Jesus your Lord.



And Amen.

Let it be so.





Many Blessings,

+Pr. Char

Oct. 16, 2017

Rev. James A. Wetzstein and Rev. Dr. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox serve as university pastors at Valpo and take turns writing weekly reflections.


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