Philippians 4:10-14 (NRSV)

10 I rejoice  in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it.   11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NRSV)

17 Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.   

DEVOTION – Narda Luz Vargas Guerrero (Dominican Republic)

Can anything bear fruit in the desert?  I believe people of faith cans answer with a resounding “Yes!”

I am learning to put into practice some principles that I have read and heard about for a long time.  Even in great financial stress and crisis, we should continue to tithe and to help those  in need.  I am fascinated by Jesus’ story of the poor widow who offered all she had to the temple treasury and received praise from Jesus. (See Mark 12:41-44.)  It is difficult at times for us to give.  When our resources diminish, so does our generosity.  But this story of the widow’s offering acknowledges that no matter our circumstances, we have something to give.  In the desert places of life, I have learned to be more grateful. I have found God’s peace no matter the conditions or circumstances of my life.  And in doing so, I have been able to offer encouragement to others.  I have also found my own faith renewed.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God always provides streams of water for our journey through the desert.  (See Isa. 35:6.)

PRAYER: Dear loving God, in our desert places you fill us with hope.  We thank you and trust you in all the circumstances of our lives.  Amen.