The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, November 15, 2022, comes to us from Kenichi Kurokawa of Tokyo, Japan.
1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:1-6 NRSV
IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY
The Tokyo Olympics were scheduled to begin in 2020, but due to the rise of COVID-19, Japan’s government proclaimed a state of emergency and the games were postponed. We were suddenly thrust into quarantine in our homes. During that time my pregnant wife was hospitalized for over two months prior to giving birth. While she was hospitalized, visitation was prohibited. Meanwhile, our daughter and I stayed home where she participated in unfamiliar remote schooling. And because her mother, who understood her best, was hospitalized, she struggled even more.
As our family contended with the various issues, I continued to read The Upper Room. My study of God’s word and reading the testimony of believers who also were leaning on God gave me hope. Then, when our second daughter was born, her new life deepened my hope. With purity of heart, she cried when her stomach was empty. And when satisfied, she smiled and became visibly peaceful. Seeing her natural trust in our provision, I realized that I could also, with assurance, express my needs to God. I thank God for the grace given me in my time of need.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to adjust and re-evaluate what is truly important to us. Many of the activities and relationships we took for granted, became highly cherished when we were unable to engage in them. Kenichi’s reflection reminds us to look for signs of hope, especially amidst our seasons of uncertainty, which allow our hearts to be encouraged.
O God, lead our families to become united. Enable us to stay close to you, no matter what we are facing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
-- Kenichi Kurokawa
Thought for the day:
Every day I will give thanks for God’s grace.