Melanie’s close friend and prayer partner, Carol, left for heaven later that summer. Recently Melanie was given one of Carol’s large purses. Carol had used it to carry around her wound-vac equipment. Melanie is using it to carry around food and water she can pour into my peg tube when we’re away from the house. We pray for recovery but carry the tools to minister to the lingering brokenness. Lord, thank you for the gift from Carol and the symbols of your help while we continue this journey through the valley of shadows.
This morning we also read from other devotionals. Oswald Chambers had this passing comment today: Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation.
I nodded my head at that one. That was an early lesson the Lord brought to my attention the hard way. I would declare final judgement on this or that person. Only then would the “one more fact” come to my attention, invariably upending my negative conclusions. Finally, I noticed the pattern. It has helped me bite my tongue. Sometimes.
I was glad when we moved on to Henry Blackaby’s Day by Day devotional. Here we read: Even when you rebel against Him and reject His love, your Father continues to do what is best for you (Rom. 5:8). He does not make His love for you conditional upon your love for Him. He loves you even when you are not loving Him (1 John 4:19).
What a relief!
We ended up with John Piper’s Solid Joys. This had the whole reason we would take time to start our day reading the Bible and thinking about what God had to say to us:
The prayer of the upright that delights God comes from a heart that at first feels precarious in the presence of God. It trembles at the hearing of God’s Word, because it feels so far from God’s ideal and so vulnerable to his judgment and so helpless and so sorry for its failings. This is just what David said in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” The first thing that makes a prayer acceptable to God is the brokenness and humility of the one who prays.
Starting another day face down before Jesus. Not in a hurry, either.