The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, September 10, 2020 comes to us from Samuel Felderman of Iowa
Psalm 104:10-28 10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. 11 They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. 13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. 14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: 15 wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. 16 The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers. 18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the hyrax. 19 He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. 20 You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. 21 The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. 22 The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. 23 Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening. 24 How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small. 26 There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. 27 All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty
The whole earth is full of his glory
–Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)
As I sat at my window watching the rain fall on the leaves I reflected on how much I had been through since my cancer diagnosis. Five rounds of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and six months in the hospital had left my body, mind, and soul exhausted. My world had become gray, dark, and lonely. I prayed for something, anything, to lift my spirits.
As the rain hit the leaves, I felt my prayer being answered. The droplets splashed and sparkled in the air, catching bits of light refracting to make an array of colors. With the wind moving through the trees, the branches danced and swayed; loud cracks of thunder sounded almost like a rhythm. In the world that I thought of as gray and dark, music and color rivaled even the most beautiful language of today’s psalm. I just had to open my eyes to look for it.
Sometimes during our most trying days, we lose our ability to see the beauty that exists around us – in God and in ourselves. While it may not seem true at times, the world is shining with the radiance of our Creator. In our most difficult moments, it is more important than ever to see that divine light.
Prayer: God of all beauty, thank you for the grace and gladness you have woven into the world. Help us to look for your light so that our hearts can be filled with your love. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Even in the darkest of storms, joy and gladness exist with God.
–from Samuel Felderman
Samuel Felderman reminds us that, no matter what is going on around us – even a threatening diagnosis of cancer or social injustice and violence, and the COVID-19 pandemic, coinciding with arguably the most contentious national election in our nation’s history, God’s holy light is shining all around us AND through us.
Mr. Felderman found his “God sighting” in God’s incredibly beautiful natural world, which IS all around us. Also, I encourage us to search for that light on the faces — even in the eyes of those who are wearing masks — to see God’s light shining. As depressing as the news is right now, I encourage you to listen for those reports of people reaching out to others in kindness and, thus making Christ known in their lives, no matter what their faith perspective happens to be.