Words of Hope Daily Devotional

The Words of Hope Devotional is a non-profit, donor-supported publication whose goal is to encourage readers to grow in faith through the practice of daily Bible reading and prayer.

Today's Devotional: 
May 17, 2022

House and Home

Read: Psalm 23

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. (vv. 2-3)

How would you describe the difference between a “house” and a “home”? One is physical and temporary, made with boards, nails, and concrete. The other is emotive and elusive, harder to describe. Unlike our English language, the Dutch have a single word to sum up this concept: “gellezig,” meaning cozy, warm . . . a place of the heart.

Both “house” and “home” matter to God. In the Hebrew Bible, where we lay down at night is meant to be a place of physical safety and emotional comfort. “You will lie down, and none will make you afraid.” (Job 11:19)

On the afternoon of May 19, 2020, a series of dam failures flooded hundreds of neighborhoods, destroying thousands of structures in the Mid-Michigan region around Midland and Sanford. Two years later, many families are still living in hotels, campers, unfinished concrete basements, or guest rooms. Their homes, through no fault of their own, are still undergoing renovations and repairs.

Over the next two weeks, we will focus on stories that swirl around this man-made disaster and look for glimpses of God. He’s always there. As you read about their plight, pray for these individuals and families to reclaim those physical structures, but even more so their sense of peace and safety. Don’t forget to thank him for your own. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, thank God for providing your home and a place to safely rest your head!

About the Author

Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.

Tammy DeRuyter

Tender Goodbyes

Read: 2 Timothy 1:1-14 I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. (v. 4) In our family we hug and say “I love you” frequently as we come and go throughout the day. Perhaps you and

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Tammy DeRuyter

Winning, Losing, and Love

Read: 1 Corinthians 13:1-11 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (v. 7) The dodgeball game was intense, fast, and furious. Both sides propelling the balls with competitive force and accuracy as laughter, mixed

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Tammy DeRuyter

The Comparison Game

Read: Matthew 18:1-11 Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? (v. 1) “Am I the fastest runner you’ve ever seen? Am I the strongest kicker? Am I the highest . . . the lowest . . . the

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Tammy DeRuyter

Pragmatic Faith

Read: Luke 14:28-36 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost . . . ? (v. 28) Through the sliding glass door, I could see all three children as they

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Tammy DeRuyter

Indifference Betrays the Soul

Read: Mark 14:39-50 And they all left him and fled. (v. 50) A box full of cards and letters said it all: “Welcome to the family, Ben! Love you already!” “I can’t wait to be your new Mom! I love

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Tammy DeRuyter

Ordinary Stuff

Read: 2 Timothy 4:6-18 When you come, bring the cloak . . . also the books, and above all the parchments. (v. 13) The drive was blissfully uneventful as we pulled the empty trailer behind our car—two hours’ drive away

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Tammy DeRuyter

The Vote

Read: John 15:7-17 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (v. 13) In my mind, this experience was over. It was just too hard. This had been my vision and I

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Tammy DeRuyter

Eyes of the Heart

Read: Ephesians 1:5-18 . . . having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know . . . hope. (v. 18) Don’t get too close. Don’t trust. It’s just another family. It’s just another house. Here we go

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Tammy DeRuyter

Do Not Grow Weary of Doing Good

Read: Galatians 6:1-10 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (v. 9) The big day finally arrived. It was a “respite care” day—a break—for his

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