The Upper Room devotional reflection for Saturday, July 16, 2022 comes to us from Sylvia Walker of New York.
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11 NIV
One day I was waiting at a bus stop when a blind man joined me. We immediately struck up a conversation – mainly about the bus service and how long we might have to wait. But we were enjoying each other’s company. Finally the bus arrived, and I guided him onto the bus. We paid our fares and sat down together. We continued our conversation, this time about life in general. But I was amazed when he said, “You know, Lady, God is a good God.” For a moment I thought to myself, How can a man who has lost his sight say that God is good? Then he continued, “It was not until I lost my sight that I realized how many good people make up our world. I thank the Lord every day for those people.”
My encounter with this man taught me a lesson – that I should count my blessings, large or small, everyday. God has promised never to leave us alone and to guide our path every step of our way. So now, whatever problem I face, I am comforted by the fact that God and the good people of our world will see me through it.
As I read this reflection, it occurred to me that the blind man from the bus may have lost his sight, but he had gained a profound “insight” about God’s goodness. It seems to me that, even through difficult challenges, God works to share the goodness of the world with each and all of us. I invite you to remember and celebrate those good people, whether friends, acquaintances or strangers, who have touched your life. Also, I invite you to consider those moments when you have been one of those people and opportunities when you might be one of those people in the next few days.
Good of all goodness, thank you for your grace and mercy each day of our lives. May we show our gratitude by offering acts of goodness and grace to those who pass our way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer Focus: To see the Goodness in Others
Thought for the Day: Each new day is a good gift from God.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever Psalm 107:1 (NIV)