The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, February 25, 2022 comes to us from Janice Davin of North Carolina
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14 NIV
I took my mischievous Sheltie puppy, Misty, to obedience school to learn good manners. The dog trainer produced an astonishing change. The trainer’s calm, kind demeanor impressed me, although I did not immediately understand why. Sometime later while I was in the hospital for shoulder surgery, I called the trainer and asked him to board Misty. When he brought Misty home, he told me he had visited my neighbors to ask if they would be willing to help me and had collected their contact information. Before he left, he gave me a copy of The Upper Room, explaining that his family read the devotional every day. I asked for his favorite Bible verse. Without hesitation, he said, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”. Suddenly I understood that faith was the source of his compassion. The kindness of this dog trainer touched me deeply. His example of holiness is within reach of all of us. Wherever we are, we can bear witness to God’s loving-kindness and reveal God’s good news through small gestures done with great love.
Although I am not particularly gifted with animals, I have always been drawn to those who are, and I appreciate those gifts in others. My observation is that often those who have this gift are indeed calm and kind. I believe that Janice Davin’s reflection reaches beyond that observation to remind us that, as always, God strengthens us for the purpose of reaching out and offering service to those who have need. Through this we offer witness to God’s universal loving-kindness and unlimited grace for everyone.
Loving Father, make us aware of your presence so that we may bear witness to your love in all that we do. Amen.
Those who work with Animals
Thought for the Day:
God can use my ordinary actions of love to bring compassion to the world.
I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (NRSV)