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The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, August 31, 2023, was written by Rachael Katharine Elliott of Illinois.



1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to throw

away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

I walked around the cornfields near my home. They were empty, barren, void of any life. The wind was the only sound in the low sloping hills. I could relate to those empty fields. I was between jobs, living with my parents, and waiting for someone, anyone, to respond to my job inquiries. I felt like a failure. What had I done by quitting my teaching job and moving back home after three years abroad? Had I misheard God's guiding voice? Had I done the wrong thing? Like the cornfields not yet planted, I was empty.

As I gazed at the field, I remembered a conversation I had with a farmer years ago. We stood at the edge of an empty field like this one, and I asked if he would be planting soon. "Not yet," he said. "We have to wait for the right time, or nothing will grow." As I stood now alone by the cornfield, I realized that "empty" was just what I needed to be in that moment. I wanted job offers, but maybe, like the field, I wasn't ready. It wasn't time. Maybe if the offers came too soon, nothing would grow in my life.

It's easy to think of a time of waiting as a time that is wasted. But God, like the farmer, knows there is a time for everything. As the empty field waits for the farmer, we can wait for God's timing.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


Do you find it difficult to wait? Whether in line at the grocery store or your favorite restaurant, waiting is not easy. Yet, Rachael's reflection offers us a different perspective on waiting. I invite you to re-read Rachael's reflection and ask yourself: Am I waiting on God, or is God waiting on me to prepare the soil of my heart?


Author's Prayer

All knowing God, give us the strength to wait even when the world seems to tell us we shouldn't. Give us your peace when we can't see the next step to take. Amen.

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