The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, October 19, 2023, was written by Charles Johnson of North Carolina.
1 My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you. 3 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:1-6 NRSV
On a September evening in 1967, I was camping out on the side of an extinct valcano on the island of Rishiri, near the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The sky was blue-black and the stars brighter than imaginable. As I admired the beauty of God's handiwork, I began thinking about my life. Soon I would be 21. Where would I be decades from now? What would I be doing?
Now, 54 years have passed. Several years ago, I realized that my questions that evening on Mount Rishiri, and all those questions I had about life in those early adult years, had been answered.
The verses quoted above were written in the front of a small Bible my girlfriend (now my wife of 55 years) gave me as I entered the US air force. While those words meant much to me in my early years, they mean even more to me now in the autumn of life.
Looking toward the future, I have only a few simple questions remaining in comparison to those early years. Yet one thing I know for certain: by trusting my Creator, living the way of Christ, and being surrounded by my Christian family and friends, my remaining questions will be answered by a faithful God.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Charles' reflection invites us into conversation with our younger selves. What did you believe you would become? What would you tell your younger self about the road ahead of them? We are living in uncertain days filled with questions, doubts, and anxiousness. How can we maintain hope and joy amdist our many unanswered questions? I turn you to Charles' reflection: "Yet one thing I know for certain: by trusting my Creator, living the way of Christ, and being surrounded by my Christian family and friends, my remaining questions will be answered by a faithful God." May we all rest assured that God will grant us peace as we travel through the valleys of our lives.
Dear Lord, thank you for your guidance as we make our way through life. We trust you to direct our steps on this remarkable journey. Amen