The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, October 23, 2020 comes to us from Margaret Bishop of Kentucky
Psalm 27:1-5 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
My life was going well, but then everything changed. I was in a doctor’s office every day for a week. I was told I had macular degeneration Wasn’t my severe glaucoma enough? I thought. I experienced a meniscus tear and a painful cyst in the same knee. Wasn’t one or the other enough? My doctor informed me that I was a diabetic. Lord, I prayed, when is my trouble going to stop?
I realized I was feeling sorry for myself and questioning God, so I asked for help. The next moment, I thought of Job. Job’s trust in God was amazing, especially considering all he lost and all he went through. My thoughts turned to Paul. I thought about all the times he was jailed, whipped, and shipwrecked. I wondered how often Job and Paul asked when their troubles would stop. Then I thought of Jesus’ suffering. Jesus was beaten and humiliated, but that wasn’t all. Jesus died on a cross, and God offered us salvation. I believe that God gave me these thoughts to help me realize that I could endure my problems. I knew God would love me and be with me through everything. I felt better. I felt stronger. God gave me strength then, and God will give me strength tomorrow.
Prayer Focus: Those experiencing multiple health issues.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your strength that helps us to keep going through pain and change. Amen.
Thought for the Day: God’s mercies and strength are new every morning.
— Margaret Bishop
Throughout my recent illnesses I have experienced frustration and impatience with my health. I have been able to remember that many others have struggles far greater than mine. Still, Margaret Bishop reminds me that it is even more important to lean on God’s love, even as I trust and give thanks for the gifted medical professionals who have cared for me throughout this extended trying experience.