The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, June 1, 2022 comes to us from Mendy Creswell Huskey of Tennessee.
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. 32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." 38 He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Mark 1:29-39 NIV
“A Place to Retreat”
Growing up as the oldest of three sisters with a large extended family, I never knew a shortage of siblings, cousins, or friends coming and going through our home. For the most part, the constant activity was welcome. Yet there were times that I needed to escape the hustle and bustle. Just behind our house grew a large lilac bush. When I needed an escape, I would crawl under the blossoming branches and sit hidden from the world. As a cool summer breeze blew through the branches, I would close my eyes and breathe in the sweet fragrance of the lilac. The serenity of this place seemed to melt away the worries of the world.
Scripture shows us the importance of taking time to breathe in God’s peace, love, and hope. In today’s quoted verse, “Jesus got up, left the house and went of to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Just as I used the lilac bush as a child, today I seek to follow Jesus’ example and find a time and place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life to breathe in the sweet fragrance of God’s peace. Honoring God in this way brings me the peace, love, and hope of God.
Especially during these turbulent times when the both the international and national news reports are heartbreaking and infuriating, it is important to take time to center our attention on God. I do agree with Mendy Creswell Huskey that the beauty of God’s creation in the natural world is often a great environment to spend some personal time with God. But, I also experience God’s presence walking down a busy street or through a shopping mall – even grocery shopping. It seems to me that God’s presence is everywhere, and we are offered the opportunity to focus our attention on God’s peaceful, holy presence wherever we are. I invite you to take some time to focus on God’s graceful presence wherever you go today.
Father God, thank you for being with us every moment. Help us to remember that you always offer us peace, hope, and joy. Amen.
--Mendy Creswell Huskey
People who feel Overwhelmed
Thought for the Day:
Today I will pause to accept the peace God offers.