The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, June 20, 2022 comes to us from Mansai Mohanty.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:7-16 NIV
“Stronger than Before”
I was driving my daughter home from school when we got stuck in traffic due to road maintenance work. I was in a hurry, so I complained: “What have they done to the road? They’ve dug such a big hole that we can’t even get through.” In response to my complaints, my daughter asked, “Mama, if they don’t dig and break the road, then how will they make it new?”
This statement made me think about how similar our Christian life is. When we go through difficult situations and unwelcome seasons, we feel broken and shattered. In those moments we often question God. We forget that in our brokenness, God can mold and shape us and ultimately bring us back to the path we need to be on. God will rebuild us even stronger than before. Our experiences can then become a testimony so that others may also have hope. Even when it feels like we are being broken, God is always building us up.
The road that Manasi Mohanty describes reminds me of the roads here in Michigan. The traffic jams around the construction sites are frustrating, to say the least. Still, those frustrations and delays will eventually lead to roads that will be much safer, easier to travel on. So, our travels will be more efficient and less time-consuming.
I can think of moments when I have felt utterly broken and frustrated. But through that very brokenness, God has healed me and used that same brokenness to re-create and re-focus my spirit and strengthen my faith. I invite you to consider those times in your lives when feel that God has “re-created” or healed you in moments when you have felt broken or frustrated.
O God, make us into the people you want us to be. When we feel broken give us hope as we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.
Thought for the Day:
God can use my unwelcome seasons to strengthen my faith.