top of page


The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, July 14, 2023, was written by Natalie Bernard of North Carolina.



1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

Psalms 139:1-14 NRSV



I have challenges with learning and social interaction. It may take me hours to complete a twenty-minute project. I don't always comprehend what I am reading right away, and I struggle with communicating in social settings. I have lived in fear and anxiety, afraid that my difficulties would be discovered, making me vulnerable to embarrassment and others' laughter.

In today's scripture the psalmist honors and exalts God for the way God made him, calling God's works "marvellous." Following this example, I praise God for the way I am made. My difficulties lead me to seek God with my whole heart, and in seeking God, I have developed a deep relationship with my Creator.

God's kingdom is diverse, and we are all members to the body of Christ. Our limitations do not stop God from working in and through us. So let's celebrate and rejoice in the way we are made because, as Ephesians 2:10 tells us "We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (NIV). No matter what challenges we face, we do not have to be ashamed. We can joyfully be who God created us to be.




God has a purpose for each of us. Natalie's admission of her struggles in communicating in social settings serves as encouragement and challenge. We are encouraged to turn to God for the discernment and wisdom to seek the appropriate help we need for overcoming our struggles. We are challenged not to allow our struggles to define who we are, nor what we can do for God. God often calls us because of our struggles, so that others might see in us the unlimited power of God grace and love at work. What has God asked you to do, that you haven't done, because you've allowed your struggles to define your ability?

-Pastor Anthony



Dear God, thank you for your love. Thank you for working in and through us no matter our challenges or abilities. Amen.

-Natalie Bernard


bottom of page