The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, May 11, 2023, was written by Cindy Lee of England, the United Kingdom.
6 A voice says, "Cry out!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. 9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" 10 See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Isaiah 40:6-11 NRSV
A SPECIAL PRIZE
“Well Done! You can choose a prize,” I told my student after he won our spelling game. I had collected a variety of treats to offer as prizes for our educational games. Among the prizes were pencils, notebooks, and second-hand books that the school didn’t need anymore. I couldn’t bear to throw away the outdated books or send them to a charity shop when I knew our own students desperately needed educational resources themselves.
Excitedly, my young student rummaged through the bag. He picked out an illustrated children’s Bible, and his eyes lit up. He carried it with him, showing it to everyone. He seemed fascinated by the illustrations and stories. During break time, he asked if he could take the Bible outside with him and read it in the gazebo. He normally spent his break racing around the playground, but he spent this one absorbed in his reading. This second hand children’s Bible might have been forgotten on a shelf. Instead, it became a young boy’s precious prize and a witness to others.
God often uses people, cast aside or overlooked by their cultures, to be ambassadors and messengers. God chooses these individuals to remind us that God cares more about our willing hearts than our outward appearances or pedigrees. In her reflection, Cindy helps us see to the blessings offered by things once viewed as undesirable. Small acts of kindness go a long way in helping inspire those around us. Humble acts of compassion help mend broken hearts and fractured souls. Although we may feel unworthy and unfit, God continues to choose us to pour out peace, hope, and joy into the lives of others. As often as God calls upon us to be conduits of love and grace, may we answer the call to be a blessing to others.
Loving Father, thank you for giving us your Holy Word. Teach us to appreciate it. Amen.
- Cindy Lee