September 12, 2009
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13
If the Lord has blessed you with good health, I hope you spend some time giving thanks today.
It would be the appropriate thing to do.
On the other hand if you, or someone you love, has been battling sickness, this story may be just the ticket. Most of us remember the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson. What most people may not know is that Stevenson was bedridden for much of his life with tuberculosis.
One day his wife heard him hacking and coughing away. Wishing to test the resilience of his spirit, she asked, "And my dear, do you still believe this is a wonderful day?"
Stevenson looked at the pile of medicine bottles sitting on the windowsill in front of his sun-filled bedroom window. After a moment he replied, "I do. I will never let a row of medicine bottles block my horizon!"
I like that answer.
Following the example of the apostle Paul, Stevenson had learned to be content in whatever situation he found himself.
That's not a bad idea for all of God's people. Think for a moment. Has a row of medicine bottles been blocking your view of God's blessings and bounty? Is it possible financial reverses have been blocking the joy which comes in Jesus?
Most certainly there are things in life that can do their best to throw a shadow between God and His people.
When that happens, we need to lift up our eyes and look past the medicine bottles, the boss, the whatever. God is still there. We need to see the face of the Savior, His nail-scarred hands, and His spear-pierced side.
We need to see the risen Redeemer reaching out to us and lifting us up so we may see past the medicine bottles and gaze upon the great grace and love of God.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to see all of the ways You have blessed me. When I feel something is blocking my relationship with You, send Your Holy Spirit so my eyes may be refocused on Your presence. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries