Isaiah 43:16-21 (NIV)

16 This is what the LORD says– he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,  17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:  18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.   

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.   

DEVOTION – Laila Karin Geitz (Akershus, Norway)

I was tired and moody – and in despair.  I was about to sign the contract to sell our home.  My dear husband of 55 years had died a few months earlier after losing his battle against cancer.

Soon after his death I realized that I could not go on living in our home with all I would have to do: maintenance, gardening in summer and snow shoveling in winter, carrying wood for the fireplaces, and other necessary chores.  I should have been grateful for actually finding a buyer even before the house was advertised for sale and at a time when buying and selling houses was almost impossible.  But I felt bad – even a little guilty – for selling the home we had shared for all these years.

I had not had time to read I Dag, the Norwegian edition of The Upper Room, the morning before I left I left for the real estate agency.  But when I returned home, I saw the opened magazine on the kitchen table and read the words above from Isaiah 43:19.  My feelings of despair eased.  God did not tell me to forget my husband.  God did not forbid me to think back on all the good memories with joy.  Rather, God invited me to go on with my life with new strength.  God is near, in both good and bad times.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God helps us see a way trough the wilderness.

PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, we thank you for all we have received from you – especially good memories and a loving family and church.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: SOMEONE WHOSE SPOUSE HAS DIED

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