The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, April 18, 2022 comes to us from B. Beauchamp of Texas
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; 8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:1-8 NIV
“Be Not Dismayed”
I woke up on a January morning in 1996 to find my husband of 32 years having a seizure. The morning my world collapsed. After being in intensive care for two months, he was sent to a rehab center where I was trained to be his caregiver in our home. It took two weeks of full-time care for me to realize that this plan was not sustainable. I remember sitting on my sofa exhausted and feeling like a bird in a cage. I began calling a list of caregivers, but it seemed everyone was either unavailable or too expensive.
Finally, a young woman said she could help me and would charge an amount I could afford. She came over that day and allowed me to rest. I did not get the miracle of healing for my husband that I prayed for each day; my husband died about a year later. But God was with me through it all. While my life changed forever that one January morning, God has led me through more that 20 years of being a widow. However, I know that I am never alone with God by my side.
Like many of you, I have also experienced the wilderness of being widowed: the loneliness, the isolation, the confusion and grief. I confess that sometimes it was difficult to experience God’s presence, but in retrospect I can see that God was caring for me and for my family. Family and friends from church and beyond reached out often to offer support and care. They became the presence of God’s Beloved Community in my grief, and the reassurance of God’s constant presence, even when I was alone.
O Emmanuel, thank you for hearing our prayers and walking alongside us. Amen.
Thought for the Day:
Even when my world collapses, God is with me.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)