The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, January 11, 2023, was written Savannah Ashley Smith of North Carolina.
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33 NRSV
I was feeling lost and out of place. I was sure that I had chosen the wrong place to go to school and spent hours trying to convince my mom that I needed to transfer or come home for a year. I prayed daily for a sign to tell me to leave. I decided, however, to stay one more semester, and I moved in with a new roommate. During the first week of classes, my roommate began opening up to me. She told me that she had been struggling with her faith and that she had noticed my strong faith in Christ. She believed God had placed me in her life so that she would seek her own relationship with Christ.
When we pray, we often expect God to grant our requests in just the way we ask. But in that moment, I realized that while I was praying and asking God to give me a new start, to give me what I thought I needed, God was doing just that but in a different way than I had imagined. I had been so worried about finding contentment in my surroundings I had forgotten that joy can only be found in Christ. As a Christian, no matter where I am, my purpose is to lead others to Jesus.
Many of us can identify with feeling out of place, whether it was the school we selected or the job we accepted. Like Savannah, we pray for God to give us a clear sign and indication that we should go or do something different. I’ve discovered, like Savannah, that often God answers these prayers in unexpected ways. Ways that were not what I wanted, planned, or asked God to co-sign. Ways that challenged me to step outside my feelings and desires, in order to recognize a bigger purpose for my presence in certain environments. Sometimes God uses us to be the answer to some else’s prayer. As you spend time with God today, rather that asking God to let you go or do something new. Instead, ask God: Show me how I can be a blessing right where I am?
Dear God, set our hearts on you so that everything we do may be in your name and for your glory. Amen.
-- Savannah Ashley Smith