2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (KJV)

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.   

2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV)

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.   

DEVOTION -Lynne Deming (Tennessee)

During a recent staff-retreat day, our leader asked us to think back to a time we encountered an “unlikely vessel” of God’s grace.  That question reminded me of an experience a few years ago that was important event in my spiritual life.

I was sitting in a coffee shop waiting for a friend.  I was wearing a baseball cap to (somewhat) disguise the fact that chemotherapy had caused me to lose most of my hair.  A young man approached my table and said, “May I ask, are you in treatment?”  I said yes, and he said, “So is my mom.”  After a brief conversation in which he asked me to tell him my story, he said, “I hope it goes well for you.”

Since that encounter, my spiritual discipline has been to approach each person I see who is obviously a cancer patient and offer the opportunity to tell the story of his or her diagnosis and treatment.  Their stories are gifts of grace for me.  I always offer a prayer for these courageous people, either silently or aloud.

That young man was an unlikely vessel of God’s grace for me.  Since that time, my hope has been to be such  a vessel for others.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today I woll be ready to show God’s grace to those whom God sends my way.

PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for those persons who are unlikely vessels of your grace.  Help us to be such a vessel for others.  Amen.