The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, June 17, 2022 comes to us from Bronwyn Ashton Winch of Queensland, Australia.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV
It was yet another lonely day when the telephone rang. I did not know the person at the other end of the line, but she explained that we belonged to the same church and that she had heard of my ill health. She asked if I would appreciate a regular phone call and, perhaps, someone to pray with. I gladly accepted, thanking God for this woman’s compassion and faithfulness.
At the time this woman was busy, managing a house-hold with school-aged children as well as operating a small home-based business. But she made a point of calling every few days and asking how I was doing. Even if she only had a few minutes to spare, her regular phone call was a lifeline for me. It reminded me that I had not been forgotten and allowed me to connect with someone. After 16 years of being virtually housebound, I am still receiving phone calls from this faithful woman of God who has now become a very close friend. And as a result of her act of love and service toward someone she did now know. I have learned the importance of caring for others.
Although I have never been house-bound for any length of time, I did find the isolation of the pandemic to be almost crippling, and I was grateful for any contact with friends or family. Bronwyn Ashton Winch reminds me that as much as I appreciated that contact, I can offer that same comfort to others. I just took the opportunity to reach out to friends I hadn’t talked to for awhile. Perhaps there are others whom I don’t know who would appreciate a call. I invite you to think about others who might appreciate a call or some kind of contact from you.
Compassionate God, thank you for the care you show us through the loving actions of others. Help us share your love and encouragement in the same say. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
--Bronwyn Ashton Winch
Those who live in Isolation.
Thought for the Day:
Whom can I encourage with a phone call today.
Encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV)