On St Patrick's Day, Tim Daugherty reflects on how just as St Patrick was called by God, we at Habitat for Humanity are also called on to express the love and teachings of Jesus while helping build homes, communities and hope.
“‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’” — John 16:33, NIV
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I found it fitting to be assigned to write a devotional for this day, given my Irish heritage!
When most people think of St. Patrick’s Day, they think of leprechauns and all things green. They think of shamrocks and parades. However, many people — including me until now — might not know St. Patrick’s story and why we celebrate on this day.
St. Patrick, who is largely credited for spreading Christianity throughout Ireland, was born in Britain and, as a teenager, was taken away in a raid by the Irish and enslaved for six years. He escaped, and later in his life, he was called by God to go back and bring the good news of Jesus to the very people who had enslaved him. What a difficult calling, and what tremendous faith he showed in accepting his calling!
At Habitat for Humanity, we also are called to a daunting mission. Right now, 1.6 billion people are living in conditions that no human should have to endure. That is a very difficult number to wrap your head around. It can be overwhelming.
Sometimes we think when we have answered our call to service, the hard part is done. That is not the case. Throughout our lives, we are going to be faced with difficult — seemingly impossible — tasks and situations.
In our Scripture reading today, Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33, NIV). He doesn’t promise us an easy path. But Jesus doesn’t stop there; the same Scripture concludes with Him saying, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I know that if I try to do things in my own power, I will utterly fail. I find great hope in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world and promises that “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, NIV).
I also find great hope in the wonderful team at Habitat that has been assembled to tackle the issue of poverty housing. I am inspired by my colleagues around the globe who, every day, work to express the love and teachings of Jesus while helping build homes, communities and hope.
We don’t have to do this on our own! What comfort we have knowing that “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31, NIV).
Dear Lord, we thank You that, if we are willing, You will guide our steps. We thank You that You are with us and that You place people in our lives to help us with our journey. Help us to shine Your light in this world. Amen.
Click here to download all the reflections and prayers from the Habitat world during the 40 days of Lent