The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, July 19, 2023, was written by Monica A. Andermann of New York.
1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. 5 Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; 6 I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth— 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Isaiah 43:1-7 NRSV
BROKEN AND LOVED
I had been noticing the condition of my mother -in-law's coffee cup for months. The colors had worn, the gold rim had dulled, and now it even had a chip at the edge. I decided that she needed a new mug. So I went to the store, made my selection, then presented it to her. She opened the box and thanked me, but then she placed the mug on her top shelf and poured coffee into her old cup. When I told her I thought it might be time to replace her worn cup, she said, "Thank you again, but this one is my favorite. My fingers fit the handle perfectly, the edge fits my lips, and this cup holds just the right amount of coffee." The cup's appearance didn't matter to her; it was her special cup and perfect for her.
I believe this is how God sees us. It doesn't matter to God that we have been worn down by our choices, that sometimes our faith fades, or even that sin may have chipped away at us. Regardless of our earthly shortcomings, we are special to God and God loves us all the same. We are, indeed, presious in God's eyes.
Monica's reflection offers us a profound reminder: "It doesn't matter to God that we have been worn down by our choices, that sometimes our faith fades, or even that sin may have chipped away at us. Regardless of our earthly shortcomings, we are special to God." I invite you to re-read Monica's reflection and ask yourself: How will my actions today help someone remember they are precious in God's sight?
Dear Heavenly Provider, thank you for your unwavering, unconditional love. May we live lives worthy of such a gift. Amen.
- Monica A. Andermann