The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, May 24, 2022 comes to us from Mark A. Carter of Oregon.
1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; 3 for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. 4 Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. Selah 5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations! 7 May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him! 8 So I will always sing praises to your name, as I pay my vows day after day. Psalm 61:1-8 NIV
My wife and I were both suffering from extended illnesses that had exhausted us physically and financially, with seemingly no end in sight. Struggling constantly to make ends meet, we grew angry and frustrated. But we still read daily the biblical stories of faith, particularly the story of David. He too had suffered much in life, but he never gave up hope in God. We vowed that we wouldn’t either.
We made a “Blessings List” and put it on our refrigerator. On it we wrote down every good thing we had in our lives, no matter how small it might seem. And as we made the list, we began to realize that God had indeed blessed us. We had much to be grateful for, if only we looked at what we had instead of focusing on what we did not have.
We still suffer hardships in our lives; no doubt we always will. But my wife and I keep our blessings list on the refrigerator and update it every day. We have found that in a world with a lot of sickness, gratitude is good medicine.
Even as I have planned yet another surgery for a hernia, I try to remember that what I have to struggle with could be so much worse and others struggle with far more serious health problems. This thought always calms and sooths me. I am reminded that God is with me, as well as with all who struggle with health concerns. Further, God is always loving each of us and caring for us, especially whenever we are struggling.
Our Heavenly Father, may we never forget that when so much in life goes wrong, you are always here to redeem our lives and make us truly whole. Amen.
--Mark A. Carter
To Practice Gratitude.
Thought for the Day:
A grateful attitude helps me remember God’s blessings.
You, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head.
Psalm 5:3 (NRSV)