Isaiah 38:1-5 (NIV)

1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”  2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 “Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.   

Isaiah 38:16 (NIV)

16 Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live.   

DEVOTION – Debra Pierce (Massachusetts)

King Hezekiah was “at the point of death” because of his illness.  But he recovered with God’s help.  Hezekiah’s story reminds me of an illness from which God helped me recover.

Mine was mental illness.  Several years ago loneliness, financial struggles, and workplace issues felt like relentless adversaries, and I began suicidal thoughts.  I wanted relief from my emotional pain and came to believe suicide would be the way to attain it.

As I headed toward the parking garage one night, I was thinking about the note I had scribbled on yellow-lined paper and various methods of carbon monoxide poisoning.  When I reached my automobile, I noticed a laminated prayer card on the pavement beside the driver’s door.  It was titled, “Don’t Quit.”

I could taste my salty tears as I read it.  Despite the fact that I had not involved God an any aspect of my life, I felt God reaching out to me through that prayer card.  The following morning, I contacted a physician.  With counseling and medication I recovered from my illness, and a few months later a pastor led me to Jesus.  I keep that prayer card on my dresser as a reminder that God values our lives and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18).

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Don’t quit.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we praise you for your divine mercy when illness steals our health and hope.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM MENTAL ILLNESS

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