2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NRSV)

7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep  me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.   8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power  is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.   

Proverbs 18:14 (NRSV)

14 The human spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit—who can bear?

DEVOTION – Galina Samson (Voronezh, Russia)

One wonderful summer  morning I went out for a walk.  I went in a wheelchair because this is the only way I can move.  A man came up behind me and said, “I don’t envy you.”  I kept going, smiling and thinking that he should envy me!  What a shame, I thought, that people often didn’t see what is really important in life.  Health problems are seen as a huge calamity while problems with the soul go unnoticed and the other gifts of God are not valued.

God has blessed me so abundantly!  I live with my dad who is called the best father in the world by everyone who knows him.  We have an apartment, and we have our own room.  I have friends who enrich my life.  I live in a country where, after 70 years of religious persecution, there is now freedom of belief, and I have come to God.  My daughter is studying at a university, and recently she and her finance’ got married in our church.  I simply cannot find words of gratitude to God for all that he has given me.  No, I can’t walk; but I have so many other joys in my life.  Most importantly, I have the Lord.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today I will find joy in God’s gifts.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us to see your grace and mercy in our lives.  We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4 KJV).  Amen.