The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, May 5, 2022 comes to us from Elizabeth Erlandson of Nebraska.
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: "They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever." 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV
“Promise of Peace”
Since my husband, Doug, became ill a few years ago, we’ve curtailed many of our activities, including driving in the snow. When it snows on a Sunday, we have a home worship service together. Doug plays the piano, we take turns reading scripture, and we listen to a sermon online. One Sunday, I couldn’t concentrate on our worship. Snow had fallen fast during the night, and I was worried about clearing the driveway. How can I possibly shovel it by myself? We were nearly finished with our service when I heard scraping outside. I peeked out the window and saw two neighbor boys clearing the driveway. What an answer to our need! Since then, the boys have shoveled for us whenever it snows.
Philippians 4:6 tells us not to be anxious, but to present our requests to God with thanksgiving. This command comes with a promise: the peace of God. I am not sure I prayed about shoveling the snow that day. But since then, whenever I face a new challenge, I pray, “Lord, you know we need . Thank you for your provision.” Answers don’t always come in the way I expect. Sometimes God shows me how I can handle the task. Other times God sends someone to help. No matter the situation, God provides.
I have experienced the spirit of this reflection recently as we strive to re-establish children’s programming. It seems like just when by anxiety reaches its peak, whatever I am worrying about is resolved. I confess that sometimes, I forget to thank God for providing what we need. Elizabeth Erlandson reminds me to be more thankful as we move into the future of our ministries. It is important to remember that God is always present, offering to provide us with all that we really need, especially when offering ministry in the world God has given us. Through this thankfulness, God brings us the peace that passes all understanding.
Heavenly Father, help us trust that you will provide what we need. Banish anxiety from our hearts, and fill us with peace. Amen.
People with Limited Ability to Leave Home.
Thought for the Day:
God knows exactly what I need today.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV)