Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Superhero

Finding our Superhero
A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” 
–Romans 8:37 (ESV)

When I was a little girl, my Dad was my superhero. He was the kind of individual who held the attention of a crowded room with his storytelling and boisterous laugh. He was big in stature with a deep, radio-worthy voice.

When we had company over, I would watch our guests, who, like me, were captivated by him. At the dinner table, I would sit in awe, feeling a sense of pride that this man was my dad. If I was the daughter of a superhero, then somehow, I was a superhero too.

As years passed, my big blue eyes saw more of the true picture of my father’s lifestyle. It began with separation. His job took him away from home for long periods of time. When he was home, he was too tired to engage. His income did not stretch far enough to cover the bills, and he was stressed. The booming voice, too often, thundered at mom, my sisters or me.

I have vivid memories of trying to engage my Hercules in play. I’d run grab the props he’d used previously to illustrate the stories of the golden days, only to be a distraction against the winning streak of the San Francisco 49ers.

As I grew, my hero withered, and along with him, my confidence in family, authority figures and, ultimately my self-worth. I was not the daughter of a superhero. Therefore, neither was I to be super.

My story is a common one. Your story might be a lot like mine. The more I talk about my childhood disappointments, the more I realize how many of us have experienced parallel events and feel a similar sadness. Self-esteem has been hard to come by for those of us who believed in the myths of our making.

But there is another story at play, a true chronicle, in which there is a superhero!

Romans 8:37 uses a term that is found only once in the entire Bible. According to Strong’s Concordance, this Greek word is hupernikaó. It’s prefix “huper” is translated “hyper” or “exceedingly,” while the root, “nikaó” means “conquer.” Many versions of the Bible, like the English Standard Version, translate hupernikaó as the phrase “more than conquerors.” But I think it’s no stretch to say this verse could be written: No, in all these things we are super-conquerors through Him who loved us.

Does this excite you like it excites me? My child’s heart reawakens to the dreams I once had! That little girl, sitting at the table, looking doe-eyed at daddy, thought she might just be super too.

This verse says it is we who are the super-conquerors through Him who loved us! Not we alone, but through Him ... or because of Him, who loved us first. God gave us a way, via Jesus Christ, to be His partner in victory.

All I wanted, as a kid, was to be my Daddy’s sidekick. I wanted him to be Superman so that I could be his Supergirl. Together we would fight against the foes of tribulation and distress, or mortgages and medical bills, or hunger and homelessness.

God wants to show me the Superhero He can’t help but be, and He wants me to be His partner. It begins with unity.

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV) goes on to say, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Our Heavenly Father has been reassuring us that He’s not leaving, He’s not too tired, and we’ve won the war! It’s no myth, I am super ... dear sibling in Christ, we are super ... because the Greatest Power made us to work alongside Him. Unified, we are marvels moving mountains in God’s Kingdom!

Author Bio:

Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior. 

She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She's been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Easily identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she's served, Sharon now sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first Christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.

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