The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, October 25, 2020 comes to us from Eiko Kato of Miyago Prefecture, Japan)
Psalm 46:1-7 1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
A gospel singer in my country wrote a song with the lyric, “[Go] upward, forward. There is no limit.” When I heard this song, I was working in the daytime and leading a Bible study twice a month in the evening. I was often surrounded by worries about daily life and the future, and these worries clouded my ability to connect with and reflect on God. But through the song I felt that God was speaking directly to my heart, saying, “Don’t be discouraged. Just move forward. I am always with you and will provide for you.” I was filled with relief and peace. I was able to face my challenges instead of running away, even though my situation had not changed.
During my difficult time, God used a gospel singer’s gift to connect with and encourage me. Each day we can use the gifts God has given us to move upward, press forward, and hopefully encourage others along the way. With God, there truly is no limit.
Prayer Focus: Gospel Singers
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for being faithful to your promises. Encourage us to move forward each day. Amen.
Thought for the Day: I bless others by embracing the gifts God has given me.
— Eiko Kato
Like everyone, I sometimes find myself feeling discouraged in the midst of this pandemic. I was feeling kind of low last Sunday, when we had planned “Sunday Funday”. It had rained, and I presumed that we would struggle to stay dry on the grass. But others had examined the situation, finding that the grass on the Grand River corner of our building had dried, and we were able to play on it without any problems.
As we began to play the silly games we had planned, everyone (children of all ages) began to be laugh and run around. It wasn’t very long before I began to feel much better. The gift of that afternoon reminded me of how God works to lift me up, even when I am feeling resistant to that joy.