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Using the words of Psalm 121:1-4, KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong KSK’74 reminds us that no matter the unsettling situation, ke Akua is always with us.

Weekly devotional: No matter the situation, ke Akua is always with us

Jul. 31, 2020

  • KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong KSK’74

Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.

Heluhelu Baibala

E leha aku au i koʻu mau maka i nā mauna,
Ma laila mai koʻu kōkua e hiki mai ai.
Mai Iēhova mai koʻu kōkua,
Nāna nō i hana i ka lani, a me ka honua.
ʻAʻole ia e hāʻawi i kou wāwae i ke kūlanalana;
ʻO ka mea mālama iā ʻoe, ʻaʻole ia e māluhiluhi.
Aia hoʻi, ʻo ka mea mālama i ka ʻIseraʻela,
ʻAʻole ia e māluhiluhi, ʻaʻole ia e hiamoe.
-Halelū 121:1-41


I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
-Psalm 121:1-4


He manaʻo o ke kahu

It is tough to read the newspaper or watch the latest news on TV. It’s pretty depressing. Another day of double-digit COVID-19 cases, more racial tension across the nation, another delay in the opening up of the economy, and now hurricane season is upon us.

So many trials all taking place at the same time, causing so much stress and mental unrest. At a recent doctor visit (just a regular check-up), I mentioned to the nurse that it seems like every time I step into their offices, I begin to feel sick. I’m sure it’s more psychosomatic then reality with all of the symptoms that come with the coronavirus. I told her that watching the news can be really depressing. She offered me a cure for that. She told me to quit watching the news.

It is easy to head down the rabbit hole of worries because of all that we are bombarded with daily. It’s natural because our desire is to live in a world that is calm and easygoing. The word “worry” is a roadblock to that peaceful existence. Worry is also a sign that we are not putting our trust where we should. The Psalmist tells us where to look when worry creeps into our minds.

Our help is from ke Akua Mana Loa, nāna nō i hana i ka lani, a me ka honua. If our God is THE God who made the heavens and the earth, can’t that same God take care of any situation we are in? No matter what comes our way, we can stand triumphant because of that. And that will bring us peace.

I remember a time that I was accompanying Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi to Merrie Monarch as their kahu. I was staying in an old plantation home on Hilo Bay with the musicians. They had arrived a little before me and got to roam around the hale. When I arrived, I was greeted with “extreme enthusiasm” from these grown men – guys who I had spent much time with at other hula competitions. As I finally got them to calm down and explain why this sudden joy to see me, they explained how there were some “unexplained occurrences” which took place earlier, like doors opening and closing on their own.

When I arrived, they felt a relief that I was there. I’m a realist and know that they actually meant that ke Akua was going to be there with us. Here’s the thing that I’m sure they knew but in the heat of the moment, may have “forgotten.” Ke Akua is always with us, his presence never leaves us. Like the passage assures us, “He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

We will always face challenges. Sometimes they are HUGE and frightful. Other times they are minute and manageable. Let ke Akua walk before you. Let he who made the heavens and the earth demonstrate his mana over all things, including the fears of our heart. And that will get us through this time and every time.


Points to ponder:

  • This week, as you pick up the newspaper or turn on the news, pule for each circumstance that would seek to cause stress in you. Pray that God’s will be done, in heaven as on earth.
  • Teachers return to campus this week to begin preparing for the new schoolyear. As you step onto the grounds, bring THE source of strength with you onto the campus or into the workplace. Pule for each process that is in place to bring the students back safely. Pule for the things that may have been overlooked so all things will be ready.
  • Place reminders around to help you pause as you go through your day. It could be a sticker with praying hands on your doorframe as you head out the door, reminding you to pray for ke Akua to walk before you, guiding you and protecting you. Maybe you could put a sticker on your phone so your words may be kind and assuring as you speak to others. They may not be able to read your face but they will feel your love through your words.
  • As Hurricane Douglas made its way towards us, you made sure you had all of your supplies in order. In like manner, calamity and trials will come our way. We need to be spiritually prepared for what may come our way. What do you need to do to better prepare your heart, mind and spirit for such times? Develop those in the midst of calm, so you are ready in the time of need.
  • Take a look up to nā mauna and thank ke Akua for the gift of today. Pule for his presence in your workplace, home, and community; that ke Akua may watch over you as he watched over Israel.

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